When the Jets drafted QB Sam Darnold, it appeared inevitable that their former second-rounder, QB Christian Hackenberg, was the odd man out with four quarterbacks on the roster.
That is why Jets fans probably weren't surprised to hear Hackenberg was traded to the Raiders Monday for a 2019 conditional seventh-round draft pick. And they also shouldn't be surprised to hear head coach Todd Bowles' reasoning on the matter as well.
"We have three quarterbacks. Obviously, we drafted Sam in the first. We like Teddy (Bridgewater). We like Josh (McCown). We just had one too many to get all of them reps, so we held him out today just because we had things in the works in case something happened," Bowles said after the team's first OTA on Tuesday. "So we just wanted to go with the three quarterbacks that we have and let these guys battle it out."
Hackenberg spent two full seasons with the Jets without seeing a single snap of regular season play. He was always behind Bryce Petty, who is now a Miami Dolphin.
So, when asked what didn't work with Hackenberg, Bowles said he was never fully ready to get into a game.
"Some players it takes a while for them to get going," Bowles said. "Some go to Canada, some go to different teams and some do different types of stuff. We did everything we could to try to help him as best we could and sometimes it just works out somewhere else."
On the contrary, Hackenberg noted Tuesday that the Jets didn't do anything at all to help him develop within their system.
"I think there were some times where I threw it really good during my first two years here, so the frustrating part for me was the ups and downs and not knowing why and not getting any information from anybody on how to fix or how to adjust it," Hackenberg said.
Now, Hackenberg will hope his new head coach in Oakland, Jon Gruden, will tap his potential. But, for the Jets, they watched another high draft pick walk away. Obviously, other high draft picks like Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson are no longer on the team.
Some would view that as a waste of a pick, and Bowles agrees.
"Anytime a pick doesn't work out I guess you can look at it as a waste. When a pick does work out, it is not a waste," he said. "You learn lessons from everything you do in life. It isn't just football and draft picks. If anyone has a four-leaf clover up their butt and it is going to work out every time please let me know that person because hey, it didn't work out here.
"You try not to misevaluate anybody, but anytime you draft someone and it doesn't work out you could call it a misevaluation, you can call it a miss, you can call it the coach's fault, the player's fault or management's fault. It was a collective agreement as an organization and sometimes things don't work out. You aren't going to bat 1000 in this league in the draft."
So, Hackenberg time in New York is over. The fact is, though, it never truly started in the first place.