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Patriots meet with free agent quarterback Christian Hackenberg

Christian Hackenberg

By trading Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers last season, the New England Patriots made a statement that they believe Tom Brady will be able to play at an All-Pro level for at least a few more years.

Eventually, they’ll need to find his replacement. That player likely isn’t Christian Hackenberg, but that didn’t stop the organization from taking a look. According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the former New York Jets second-round pick visited the Patriots at Gillette Stadium on Thursday.

After failing to take a regular season snap in two seasons with New York, Hackenberg was shipped to the Oakland Raiders for a conditional 2019 seventh-round pick back in May. His tenure with the Silver & Black didn’t last long, with Oakland waiving him earlier this week, nixing the trade. Hackenberg has since cleared waivers to enter free agency.

Hackenberg had a successful college career at Penn State, but few analysts had him going as early as the second round. Despite the franchise’s struggles under center, he never saw the field behind Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh McCown, Geno Smith, and Bryce Petty. After picking up Teddy Bridgewater and selecting Sam Darnold third overall in the NFL Draft, the Jets had an easy decision to let him go.

At just 23 years of age, Hackenberg could find another home in the NFL or possibly consider a career abroad in the CFL.

Beyond Brady, New England has Brian Hoyer and 2018 seventh-round pick Danny Etling on the quarterback depth chart, so Hackenberg could at least have a chance to compete for a roster spot if he signs.