The NFL can be fairly unpredictable at times. Despite already having a starter and backup in Andy Dalton and AJ McCarron respectively, the Bengals have been fairly active on the quarterback market the last few days.
On Monday, they signed former Buffalo quarterback Joe Licata and waived former Bowling Green State quarterback Matt Johnson. Now, we're learning that yesterday, they tried to claim quarterback Zach Mettenberger off of waivers after he was released by the Tennessee Titans, according to Field Yates.
Source: two teams other than the Chargers attempted to claim QB Zach Mettenberger, the Giants and Bengals.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) May 18, 2016
At 6-foot-5 and 24 years old, Mettenberger has started 10 career games since being Drafted by the Titans in 2014. During that time he accumulated a 60.3 completion percentage with 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He's certainly a talented player with starting experience to backup his credentials and could be a serviceable backup going forward.
Even so, it's a somewhat surprising for the Bengals, who would have had to put Mettenberger on the active roster to keep him around. With the Chargers, Giants and Bengals all interested at this point of the offseason, he wouldn't last on the practice squad and likely isn't someone the Bengals would want to use a practice squad spot on. Therefore, the Bengals would either have to keep three quarterbacks on the roster or make some room to keep him around. Maybe acquiring Mettenberger would have increased the likelihood that the Bengals would accept trade offers for McCarron; maybe not. At this point, we'll likely never know.
Because the Chargers sit higher on the waiver wire order than the Bengals, they had first dibs on Mettenberger with the Giants coming next and the Bengals last. At this point in the offseason, the waiver wire order is the same as the Draft order, based on last year's record.