Poll: Should Bengals Trade for Zach Mettenberger?


Nov 30, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Zach Mettenberger (7) looks for an open receiver during the second quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

When the Titans chose to invest in Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota during this year’s draft, they effectively created a quarterback controversy in Tennessee, but one that may already be over.  It would be odd for a team who already possessed a young potential starter to draft another quarterback with the second overall selection and not start that player.  Such is life in Tennessee.  One can only assume that the Titans will be starting Mariota in the coming season, which leaves last year’s quarterback investment Zach Mettenberger a little displaced.

Mettenberger started six games last year (Weeks 8, 10-14) and lost them all, but these losses certainly don’t lie at the hands of Mettenberger alone.  The Titans were far from a good team last year and Mettenberger had a young offense around him.

In addition to this, Mettenberger faced some stiff competition: the Texans twice, the Steelers, Ravens, Eagles, and Giants.  During this time he went 105/174 (60.3%) for 1395 yards, eight touchdowns, and seven interceptions.  It may not have been the prettiest of performances, but considering what he was up against, one would hardly be justified in judging Mettenberger based on this stretch alone.

Zach Mettenberger came into the NFL offering some real promise despite having to overcome an ACL injury heading into his rookie season.  He came from a NFL-style offensive at Louisiana State and has the necessary arm strength to be an NFL quarterback.  But like all young players, he was going to need time to acclimate and some help around him to succeed.  Due to the injury, Mettenberger was given some time, but not much while healthy, and was given little help while he made the transition from college to the big league.

Yet despite possessing enough promise to inspire  the Titans to consider him the “Poor Mans’ Tom Brady,” Tennessee still chose Mariota this year.  So, with Zach Mettenberger essentially already wearing the headset, could the Titans choose to trade him, and if so, should the Bengals make an offer for him?

I’m clearly not the only one who has considered this thought.  CBS’s Jason La Canfora recently suggested that the Titans could reach out to the Bengals and gauge their interest in last year’s sixth round selection.  Further supporting such a possibility is a report from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen (via Evan Silva of Rotoworld) that Mettenberger’s agent “wants him traded.”

If the Bengals were to attempt to trade for the 23-year-old, strong-armed quarterback, they’d have to be willing to carry three quarterbacks on the roster this year.  Considering the amount of talent this team possesses and the immense amount of injuries they’ve experienced in recent years, they’d have to ask themselves whether this would be the most prudent move. But there are undeniable upsides to acquiring a quarterback like Zach Mettenberger.

First, Mettenberger would give the Bengals another option at quarterback if Andy Dalton continues to struggle in 2015.  Cincinnati could move on from Dalton if he doesn’t improve in the coming season.  Having another option besides A.J. McCarron would give the team options and theoretically increase their odds of finding their next starter.

Zach Mettenberger would also bring some diversity to the group.  In contrast to Dalton and McCarron, Zach Mettenberger possesses the kind of size and strength that makes for the ideal NFL quarterback.  At 6’5″, 224 pounds, and with large hands, he would give the Bengals a quarterback with an NFL-ready arm whereas both Dalton and McCarron are regarded as game managers with less than powerful arms.

Yet Mettenberger also fits what the Bengals typically look for in players.  While at Louisiana State, Mettenberger played against SEC competition and did so, again, in an NFL-style offense.  As a matter of fact, Mettenberger’s running back was current Bengals’ running back Jeremy Hill, and the Bengals do have a penchant for acquiring players along with college teammates. Prior to last year’s draft, the Bengals did take time to meet with Zach Mettenberger.

All in all, there is reason to believe the Bengals could benefit from acquiring Zach Mettenberger: they expressed some level of interest in him in the past, they believe in combining collegiate teammates, and would benefit from the diversity he’d bring to the quarterback group.

Yet, Cincinnati would have to gauge how much the Titans would want for Mettenberger (they only used a sixth round selection on him) and the Bengals would need to reserve a slot for a third quarterback on their 53-man roster.

In the end, I don’t believe the Bengals would ever make such a move.  They probably feel it would mess with Andy Dalton’s confidence in 2015 and Marvin Lewis doesn’t believe in “quarterback controversies.”

Nonetheless, we ask you to express your thoughts below.  Faced with this decision, if you were running the Bengals, how would you proceed with such a trade idea?

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