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Ex-Jets QB Christian Hackenberg attempting to play baseball

Christian Hackenberg never did appear in an NFL regular-season game. Maybe he'll play in the major leagues.

The former New York Jets quarterback is trying his hand at baseball, per NBC Philadelphia's Rob Kuestner.

"I just want to compete," Hackenberg said. "I kind of have had my trials and tribulations with the NFL and had success and had that roller-coaster ride. At the end of the day, I'm sitting here at 25. I feel like I got a lot left in the tank."

A few football teams could relate.

New York selected Hackenberg in the second round of the 2016 draft with hopes of him becoming their franchise QB. The Penn State product had been a three-year starter and earned Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors. But he struggled in his final two seasons in Happy Valley, a trend that continued at the next level.

Hackenberg wasn't able to so much as win the Jets' primary backup job and was traded to the Raiders following two years of inactivity. After brief stops in Oakland and Philadelphia, he was released from the Bengals' practice squad in November of 2018. Later that month, the Alliance of American Football's Memphis Express took him in the second round of the league's QB draft. He started three games but was benched in two of them and did not take the field again before the AAF ceased operations last April.

The 6-foot-4 Hackenberg is now trying to use his downtime to reinvent himself as a pitcher.

"I grew up playing baseball," he said. "Everyone's got time, everything's kind of been shut down. There hasn't been a lot of stuff, so I figured, why not? Pick it up and see what can happen. That's kind of where it's at. I just wanted to have some fun with it."

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