Raiders cut Christian Hackenberg

The Christian Hackenberg era in Oakland has officially ended, as the Raiders waived the former Penn State QB on Tuesday afternoon, per the NFL’s transaction wire.

The Raiders acquired Hackenberg from the New York Jets on May 22 in exchange for a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2019. Oakland will now keep the pick, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, then an analyst at ESPN, was a fan of Hackenberg coming out of college.

“What he showed during that first year at Penn State — before the coaching change, before the system change, before all the things that derailed him — would be enough for me to take this guy early,” Gruden wrote in an article for ESPN. “He just has to get in the right system with the right people and refocus on the small details.”

Apparently, after less than a month in the Bay Area, Gruden had seen enough to make this decision.

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Hackenberg (a 2016 second-round pick) and linebacker Brady Sheldon were both waived to accommodate the team’s signing of defensive tackles Ahtyba Rubin and Frostee Rucker.

It’s not clear if a market for his services will materialize. After all, Hackenberg — despite being the 51st overall pick in 2016 and despite playing on a team starved for competent quarterback play — never made a regular-season appearance in two seasons with the Jets. According to Football Perspective’s Chase Stuart, Hackenberg is 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.

What we’re left with to evaluate Hackenberg is preseason data. In the 2016 preseason, 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 the 2017 preseason, 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.

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