Eagles Collecting QBs, Sign Christian Hackenberg
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Eagles now have five quarterbacks after signing former New York Jets bust Christian Hackenberg on Sunday afternoon.
To make room on the 90-man offseason roster Philadelphia waived/injured undrafted rookie center Ian Park, meaning the team is adding Hackenberg, the former Penn State star who was a second-round pick of the Jets back in 2016, to a QB room that already includes Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, Nate Sudfeld and Joe Callahan.
Those around the Eagles are indicating that the move has nothing to do with the health of Wentz, who continues to rehab from a torn ACL and LCL suffered late last season, or Foles, who has been dealing with some neck/back spasms that kept him out of three recent practices as well as the preseason opener against Pittsburgh.
Meanwhile, it's also not a reflection of Sudfeld, the third-string signal caller, who threw two touchdown passes but also had two interceptions against Pittsburgh on Thursday night.
The spin is it's that the Eagles just want to take a look at a player who has talent to see if they can develop Hackenberg, 23, with an eye on 2019 when Foles will more than likely be gone from the organization.
A less likely scenario is that Howie Roseman could be ramping up the idea of moving Foles on the trade market now that Wentz seems on track to be ready, if not by Week 1 against Atlanta on Sept. 6, shortly thereafter.
In the short run Hackenberg's presence further solidified that you will not be seeing Wentz on the field at all in the preseason and indicates very little Foles as well.
Hackenberg started 38 games at Penn State and finished as the school's all-time leader in passing yards (8,457) and touchdowns (48). A traditional pocket passer, Hackenberg was regarded as a potential future star when now-Houston coach Bill O'Brien was in State College but faltered a bit when James Franklin arrived with a spread offense.
That didn't stop the Jets from taking the 6-foot-4, 230-pound quarterback early in the 2016 draft but Hackenberg didn't progress and never started a game with New York before being traded to Jon Gruden's Oakland Raiders this offseason for a conditional draft pick.
The Raiders, though, quickly waived Hackenberg and now the Eagles will try to jumpstart the reclamation project.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen