Christian Hackenberg washes out on his second NFL team
In just three weeks, the Raiders realized what took the Jets more than two years to figure out.
Christian Hackenberg didn’t belong on their roster.
Three weeks to the day after the Jets traded the former second-round pick for a conditional seventh-round choice, he was cut, failing even to get to training camp.
Because Hackenberg won’t be on the Raiders’ roster for any games, the Jets won’t get the draft choice, meaning they essentially traded Hackenberg for nothing. He never appeared in a regular-season game for them, and only was active for five games. Oakland opted to go with EJ Manuel and Connor Cook as Derek Carr’s backups.
General manager Mike Maccagnan took Hackenberg with the 51st-overall pick in the 2016 draft, which so far has turned out to be the worst move of his tenure. Hackenberg was a goner once the Jets traded up in April’s draft and landed Sam Darnold with the third-overall pick. Following the team’s first OTAs, Hackenberg positively talked up the revamped throwing motion he had worked on with personal quarterback coach Jeff Christensen.
But it didn’t impress the Raiders enough to keep him around.
If it was up to Quincy Enunwa, he would be practicing fully this week. Instead, he will have to settle for a small step in the right direction.
For the first time this spring, Enunwa took part in positional drills, progress for the wide receiver who missed all of last season after undergoing surgery to repair herniated disks in his neck.
“I know I’m ready to do it. It’s just being smart,” he said on Tuesday, before the start of the three-day mandatory minicamp. “I have to move when they want me to move.”
Coach Todd Bowles said the plan is for Enunwa to be kept out of team drills until training camp begins in late July. The 26-year-old receiver understands the cautious approach as much as he would prefer to speed up the process.
“If I go out there and do too much, who knows what’s going to happen,” Enunwa said.
Enunwa said he’s feeling “great” and isn’t concerned about the neck. He said he also has no doubts he can get back to the player he was before the injury, when the former sixth-round pick from Nebraska caught 58 passes for 857 yards and four touchdowns in 2016.
“I have so much confidence,” Enunwa said. “I’ve shown myself what I can do during OTAs, during the offseason program working with the guys.”
Outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins wouldn’t divulge the injury that has kept him out of spring workouts, but whatever it is, he didn’t seem too concerned about it.
“I don’t think too much of it,” he said.
Last week, Bowles said the third-year pro was just “nicked up,” but wouldn’t guarantee Jenkins would be ready for training camp. Jenkins, however, said he’s “supposed to be” a go once camp begins. With Jenkins sidelined, Josh Martin and David Bass got first-team reps at outside linebacker.