Houshmandzadeh Signing: Oakland Raiders Take Another Step in Wrong Direction

Sean O'Leary@Pudding_ClubContributor INovember 1, 2011

CINCINNATI - DECEMBER 10:  Wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh #84 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs with the ball against defensive back Tyrone Poole #38 of the Oakland Raiders on December 10, 2006 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals defeated the Raiders 27-10. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
David Maxwell/Getty Images

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, well, that just isn't a good idea at all.

Signing washed-up quarterback Carson Palmer was a mistake for the Oakland Raiders. He may still have some touchdown passes left in him, and he may still be the only quarterback who can throw three interceptions in one half of professional football and be let off the hook.

But to think that Palmer is going to lead the Silver and Black Attack to the top of the AFC West, or to the Super Bowl for that matter, is to be a poor student of history.

Palmer had seven seasons to prove he was a Super Bowl-caliber quarterback in Cincinnati, but year after year fell short. Blame his teammates, his coaches, injuries and what have you.

At the end of the day, Palmer was never an elite player. A very good quarterback with bursts of brilliance, sure, but a franchise's savior he is not.

This brings us to washed-up wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who signed a one-year deal worth about $910,000 with the Raiders on Tuesday. This deal was pushed for by none other than Carson Palmer.

We all see where this is going, right?

Throw in ex-Bengals wide receiver coach and current Raiders head coach Hue Jackson, and what seems like a random collaboration of veterans starts to smell a little like pseudo-nepotism.

These three men are not related by blood, but it cannot be said that Palmer and Houshmandzadeh were reunited with Jackson in Oakland and given loads of money due to merit.

What about Houshmanzadeh's performance over the past few years would suggest that this is the best strategy for the Oakland Raiders to pursue?

Was it the 30 receptions Houshmandzadeh had with the Baltimore Ravens last season that stood out to the Oakland coaching staff? Those three spectacular touchdowns? Wait, it has to be those intangibles. Got to love intangibles.

He'll be a good influence on Oakland's young, inexperienced receiving core. Whatever helps you sleep at night. The truth is that Houshmandzadeh was brought in to appease Palmer, which is a big mistake.

What Oakland's young, inexperienced receiving core needs is as much repetition as possible with the starting quarterback.

With Houshmandzadeh now in the picture, he is going to quickly become Palmer's security blanket downfield.

Instead of looking to Darrius Heyward-Bey or Jacoby Ford when he's pressured, Palmer is going to lean heavily on the only receiver in the group he has ever developed a rapport with or thrown a touchdown pass to.

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 30:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos recovers his fumble after being sacked by Cliff Avril #92 of the Detroit Lions at Sports Authority at Invesco Field at Mile High on October 30, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Lions d
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

This isn't rocket science, nor is it meant to be overly pessimistic.

Houshmandzadeh may make some great catches, and Palmer may lead the charge against pathetic opponents like the Denver Broncos next week.

Denver may be even more screwed up offensively than the Raiders, but this says little about Oakland's ability to play with the big boys and eventually push for a deep playoff run.

If you think the Steelers, Patriots or Ravens are nervous to face the unstoppable tandem of Palmer-Houshmanzadeh, then you must be living in 2007.

The Raiders were building an image this season as a young team with a lot of heart. Now they're slowly turning into a roster of old farts.

Oakland is sacrificing its future for the present, which makes sense only if your present is not based in the past. Going backwards will never help the Raiders move forward.