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Former NFL QB calls out Jets for ruining his career: It’s ‘the last place I should have gone’ in 2016 draft

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When the New York Jets selected Christian Hackenberg during the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, there was some hope in the organization that he would end up being a future franchise quarterback for the team. Instead, he never ended up playing even a single snap during his NFL career. 

Hackenberg lasted just two seasons in New York, and a big reason for that is because the Jets apparently had no idea what they were doing with him. During a recent interview on the Ross Tucker Podcast, the former NFL quarterback said the team had “no plan” for him. Hackenberg also said that it was impossible for him to develop because the Jets were carrying four quarterbacks on the roster in 2016: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bryce Petty, Geno Smith and Hackenberg. 

“New York was probably the last place I should’ve gone, in terms of the market, the expectations, the way it was,” Hackenberg said. “You know, my rookie year, we ended up keeping four quarterbacks, so there was just not a lot of opportunity for me to develop and grow. No plan, kind of an up-and-down organization.”

Not getting a chance to develop is what hurt Hackenberg the most because he knew he needed some help to get things figured out while making the jump from Penn State to the NFL. 

“When I came out, I still knew that I needed a lot that I need to get better at,” Hackenberg said. “But at the same token, I had all these expectations and the narrative out there of this kid being really, really good. It was really just this battle, internally, and then externally, of messaging and how things were being portrayed that I had to deal with.”

Hackenberg isn’t sure things would have worked out with another team, but he does know that there was no chance of things working out in New York. 

“It was just one of those things where the timing and where it ended up just wasn’t in the cards for me at that position,” Hackenberg said. 

Although Hackenberg puts some of the blame for his failures on the Jets, he also blames himself for not making it in the NFL. 

“When I look at it introspectively, I was young, I needed a lot of help and I needed a lot of direction and guidance and I never sought that out,” Hackenberg said. “So that’s where my shortcoming was, I didn’t do all of those things until it was ultimately too late.”

The Jets ended up trading Hackenberg away to the Raiders in May 2018 and he didn’t even last a month there before getting released. The quarterback then ended up in Philadelphia for the 2018 preseason, but he got cut before the start of the regular season. Hackenberg’s final stint as an NFL player came on the Bengals‘ practice squad where he spent two months before being released in November 2018.  

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