Hue Jackson will benefit from the Carson Palmer trade, after all.
After being bypassed for offensive-coordinator jobs, Jackson is back in the NFL, back with the Cincinnati Bengals. In a strange move, Jackson – known as one of the best young offensive minds in the NFL – will assist defensive backs and special teams in Cincinnati. He hasn’t coached either position in the NFL, and hasn't coached special teams in 20 years. Jackson was considered a top offensive coordinator before he took over as the head coach in Oakland last year.
New Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie fired Jackson last month.
This is Jackson’s second tour with the Bengals. He coached the receivers from 2004-06 under Bengals coach Marvin Lewis. This move signals that Jackson was willing to do anything to get back into the league. The Raiders will pay the difference between Jackson's salary from the Bengals and what he is due under his remaining contract in Oakland. Because he is not even a position coach, I wouldn’t imagine the Bengals are paying Jackson much.
It’s ironic that Oakland is paying Jackson to work in Cincinnati. Jackson credited his connections in Cincinnati for being able to get the Palmer trade done last October. The Raiders sent their first-round pick (No. 17) in 2012 to Cincinnati in 2012 plus either a first- or second-round pick in 2013 to get the then-31-year-old quarterback. At the time of the trade, Jackson said it was the “best trade in football.” The general consensus is that the Bengals fleeced Jackson in the trade.
His personnel decisions were one of the reasons why Jackson was fired. Oakland is slated to visit Cincinnati during the 2012 season in a matchup that could be juicy enough to merit prime-time consideration.
I’m sure Jackson will hope to get either head-coaching or offensive coordinator opportunities in 2013. But in the meantime, he will be an assistant in a familiar setting, albeit in an unusual fashion.