Carson Wentz wasn’t the only rookie quarterback to sign his first NFL contract on Thursday.
The Jets announced that they have signed Christian Hackenberg to a four-year deal. The team also signed seventh-round wide receiver Charone Peake, leaving them with five of their seven 2016 draft picks under contract.
Hackenberg, who went 51st overall, generated a sharp split of opinions coming out of Penn State. The Jets came down on the side that saw his size and arm strength as building blocks for a player who can contribute in the future rather than the one that saw Hackenberg’s collegiate inaccuracy as a sign that he’d fail to make it at the next level.
At the moment, Hackenberg sits behind Geno Smith on the Jets’ quarterback depth chart but the team’s slow dance with Ryan Fitzpatrick about a new contract means that there may still be a change at the top. Fitzpatrick’s return would lessen the chances of Hackenberg seeing early playing time, but that’s probably not a bad thing no matter where you come down on his professional prospects.