Hackenberg has spent the offseason "starting from scratch" on his throwing motion after spending the past two years failing to impress a coaching staff in dire need of a talented young quarterback.
Bowles' trade bulletin arrived just hours after an emboldened Hackenberg expressed frustration that his throwing motion was never fixed in two years with Jets coaches. He had no chance to crack a depth chart that now features face of the franchiseSam Darnold in addition to veteran Josh McCown and wild card Teddy Bridgewater.
Although Hackenberg inspired praise as a potential franchise savior after a promising freshman season at Penn State, he was widely viewed as a reach by the time the Jets selected him with the No. 51 overall pick in the 2016 draft.
A scattershot passer with timing issues in the pocket, Hackenberg completed just 54.8 percent of his passes over his final two seasons with the Nittany Lions. After two years under Bowles in the Big Apple, he's yet to attempt a regular-season pass. That's a damning indictment on a team desperate enough to audition an overmatched Bryce Petty for seven starts.
It comes as no surprise that Jon Gruden is rolling the dice on a low-risk, high-reward gamble to turn Hackenberg's career around. When Gruden was serving as an ESPN analyst in 2016, he penned a story highlighting Hackenberg's prodigious potential as a first-round pick.
"This was the No. 1 prospect in the nation a few years ago," Gruden wrote, "and someone who showed during his freshman year he could produce at a high level in a true NFL-style offense.
"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. ... He just has to get in the right system with the right people and refocus on the small details."
Two years later, Gruden shipped the league's lowest draft currency to New York for a chance to take a peak at Hackenberger's revamped throwing style in "the right system with the right people."