With their recent signings of Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown, along with their presumed plan to select a quarterback with the newly acquired third overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the New York Jets have no room for Christian Hackenberg. Not that Hackenberg has done anything in the two years he’s been on the roster to demonstrate that the Jets should try to keep him around.
Leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft, there was rampant speculation that Bill O’Brien, who famously worked and succeeded with Hackenberg as a true freshman at Penn State, would find a way to get the QB to Houston. Some were, dare I say, bullish on the idea. But then the Texans signed Brock Osweiler (huzzah!), and the talk of Hackenberg to Houston quieted down considerably. During this same time frame, it should also be mentioned that Hackenberg went from a guy people were talking about as a possible first overall pick (at least after his freshman year at Penn State with O’Brien) to a dude some believed didn’t even merit a draft pick.
After two NFL seasons in which he hasn’t taken a regular season snap despite a dearth of talent at the QB position in New York, it seems the Jets are finally ready to move on from their 2016 second round pick, no matter what their general manager said a few months ago before the offseason began.
Could Hackenberg make his way to Houston? The Texans sorely need to create a depth chart behind Deshaun Watson. While it would make no sense for the team to cast its lot with a totally inexperienced and raw player to serve as DW4’s primary backup, would signing Hackenberg as QB3 make sense?
O’Brien, who remains close with Hackenberg, says the Texans also gave his former charge a high draft grade. “Christian is big and strong and throws a good football,” O’Brien says. “He’s shown the ability to overcome adversity. It’s hard to evaluate his career. There was a coaching change, and he had to adapt. Now, I watched a lot of his film [from 2014 and 2015], and I saw some bad plays, like people talk about. But I saw a lot of good plays too. We had him evaluated as a really good quarterback prospect.”
Even Hackenberg and his family thought the Texans’ decision to trade up in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft (to select Nick Martin) was actually done so the team could reunite O’Brien and Hackenberg in Houston.
When the Texans traded up two spots to jump ahead of the Jets to pick at No. 50, New York management held their breath. Was this an O’Brien play to rekindle the flame with his one-season-sensation? “The thought did cross our mind,” Maccagnan said Friday night after the second and third rounds wrapped up.
Meanwhile, at home in Palmyra, Virginia, Hackenberg thought it was Houston calling him at 8:45 p.m. Hackenberg was in his backyard playing a game of cornhole with his private quarterback coach Jordan Palmer (Carson Palmer’s younger brother) and LaMontagne, when his mom ran out the back door and whistled for her son to come inside and pick up his phone. “We walked up the steps of the deck behind him and we’re thinking that he is going to Houston,” LaMontagne says. “He is going to be a Texan, this is awesome, he’s back with Bill. And then Houston ends up picking a center and Jordan and I look at each other and simultaneously, we’re like what the f-- , what just happened? Are we witnessing a Mohamed Sanu moment here?”
Could you get behind adding Hackenberg to the Texans’ roster as a developmental prospect? Again, not as QB2; that would be a terrible decision. But as a QB3?
Or do you believe Hackenberg isn’t worth a contract in Houston? Has his complete lack of success with the Jets ended his NFL career before it ever really started?
Cast your ballot and discuss below.
Should the Texans try to acquire Christian Hackenberg to serve as their third-string quarterback?
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The fact that you’re even asking this question means you should never, ever, EVER write about football again. Go to your room.