Fast forward a few months and Jackson's riding the interview circuit as Oakland's ex-coach while the franchise reboots the machine for the 7,000th time.
Jackson told KGMZ-FM in San Francisco this week that owner Al Davis' death in October cast a heavy pall over the season. Jackson was smitten with Davis, calling him a "tremendous man that wore a lot of different hats."
Some perceived Jackson as running wild with dreams of power after Davis' passing -- symbolized by the draft-pick-heavy swap for Palmer -- but he shot down chatter hinting that it was his deal alone.
"No, it wasn't," Jackson said, via SportsRadioInterviews. "I think if everybody would stop for a second and look and say 'Wait a minute.' But I know what happened, because the people involved knew Hue Jackson. I did coach and recruit Carson in college, I was with him in Cincinnati, I do know Mike Brown because I did work there -- so, naturally, everybody is going to say it was Hue that did it. Well, no, Hue was the person when it was all said and done that was able to get the sides together. The decision was made as an organization.
"I don't make a decision to give away draft picks, I didnât make a decision on how much money someone was going to make. That's not my domain. I don't do that. I think if people would really slow down and say 'Well, wait a minute, this guy has never done any of this before, but now heâs making this kind of deal.' I think that's what was portrayed. But, no, I'm not the only person. I was just a player involved in it because I knew the two parties and I knew how to get the two parties together to see if we could potentially do a deal."
Jackson remains a respected offensive mind who interviewed for the Rams' offensive-coordinator role this week and will no doubt find work in 2012. He cannot be blamed for wanting to set the record straight following an eventful and fateful season in Oakland -- and perhaps correct some perceptions about his role within an organization that's experienced as much disfunction as it has Davis' longed-for greatness in recent seasons.