Looks like all the sacks and hits may have been worth it after all.
Former Penn State quarterback turned 51st overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft signed a four-year $4.66 million deal with the New York Jets on Thursday. The deal also includes a $1.6 million signing bonus, starting his career in the NFL with a nice chunk of change to go with his draft status.
Where Hackenberg falls on the Jets' roster still remains to be seen. The former Nittany Lion is the third quarterback on the Jets roster under contract, falling behind former starter Geno Smith and recent draft choice Bryce Petty. The Jets are still looking to agree to terms with 2015 starter Ryan Fitzpatrick. It stands to reason that if New York is able to negotiate Fitzpatrick back into the fold that he would be in the very least a short term starting option for the organization.
If not, the door may very well be open for Hackenberg to start right away. While he is likely better suited a year or two watching from the sideline, the Jets are high on his potential and Hackenberg has always been learning on the run, literally and figuratively. The Jets may not have given up on former starter Geno Smith just yet, but his own up and down tenure in the starting role is well documented.
The Jets open preseason football on August 11 at Metlife Stadium, the same arena in which Hackenberg played his first collegiate game.