Eagles reporters better be on the lookout for rogue footballs during upcoming practices because on Sunday, the Eagles announced that they signed former second-round pick Christian Hackenberg.
As NFL Network's Tom Pelissero noted in his original report that broke the news, Hackenberg should be positioned firmly behind both Carson Wentz and Nick Foles on the depth chart, and probably even behind Nate Sudfeld considering Sudfeld's been with the team since last season and Christian Hackenberg is still Christian Hackenberg.
The #Eagles are signing QB Christian Hackenberg, source said. Not a reflection on health of Wentz/Foles or anything else — just a chance to try developing another QB with talent, as they have with Nate Sudfeld.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 12, 2018
Hackenberg, the 51st overall pick in 2016, never found a way to make a regular-season appearance with the Jets in his two seasons with the team. In preseason action, he was dreadful. In 2016, he went 17 of 47 (36.2 percent) for 159 yards (3.4 yards per attempt), one touchdown, two picks, and a 35.7 passer rating. In 2017, he went 42 of 74 (56.8 percent) for 372 yards (5.0 yards per attempt), two touchdowns, two picks, and a 68.1 passer rating.
In May -- after the Jets drafted Sam Darnold, re-signed Josh McCown, and signed Teddy Bridgewater -- the Raiders traded a conditional seventh-round pick for Hackenberg, who spent his offseason revamping his throwing mechanics. Three weeks later, the Raiders cut him, which negated their trade. Hackenberg's been a free agent ever since and it wouldn't have been surprising if he'd remained unsigned, but on Sunday, he got yet another chance to catch on with yet another team. If anyone can get the most out Hackenberg, it's probably Doug Pederson, who turned Wentz into an MVP candidate and Foles into the Super Bowl MVP.
The Eagles don't have much to lose by signing Hackenberg, but they probably don't have much to gain either. Long gone are the days when Hackenberg was viewed as a promising prospect with NFL-caliber traits. Now, he's best known as the first quarterback in more than 35 years to get drafted in the first two rounds and then not throw a pass during his first two NFL seasons, as Football Perspective's Chase Stuart pointed out.
Suddenly, Year 3 is just beginning for Hackenberg after it looked like he might not get a chance to change the trajectory of his career.