There is no quarterback controversy in Nashville, despite the outstanding play of Zach Mettenberger through two games this preseason. Marcus Mariota is the face of the franchise, but the Titans still have something in Zach Mettenberger. He may not be their franchise quarterback, but he may very well end up being the answer for another team.
Mettenberger has gone 15-20 for 220 yards so far this preseason. He's thrown two touchdown passes and one interception and has garnered national praise. This has sparked some debate as to what Ruston Webster will do with the second year player. As quarterback needy teams emerge, trade rumors will start to swirl if Mettenberger can keep up his pace.
We are probably getting ahead of ourselves here, but if the phone rings, what does Ruston Webster say?
To me, it depends. I would need to be blown away to even consider it. Marcus Mariota is the guy and he's backed it up through two preseason games. However, those are preseason games. Mariota has yet to go through the rigorous 16 game NFL schedule. Having Mettenberger as your number two gives you some insurance, just in case. That's an extremely valuable asset in today's NFL.
However, a day two draft pick could make Ruston Webster think twice. I don't think anyone would make that offer today, but Webster shouldn't entertain anything below that. Mettenberger is a valuable asset to this team, whether he is on the field or not. If he continues playing well, his value will only grow. In theory, turning a sixth round pick into a second or third round pick is excellent return on investment.
Recent trades for backup quarterbacks haven't exactly worked out. Matt Cassel was dealt by the Patriots to the Chiefs for the 34th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. Kevin Kolb was dealt from the Eagles to the Cardinals for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second round pick. Even Charlie Whitehurst was dealt by the Chargers to the Seahawks for a couple of picks. I'm sure you all remember the trade winds around Kirk Cousins and Ryan Mallett a couple of seasons ago.
All it takes is one team though. One team -- whether it be the Bills, Jets, Bears or someone else, all it takes is one. If a team gets desperate enough, they'll get the deal done. Webster will have to make that decision if he gets an offer.
If it was up to me, I'm keeping Mettenberger through this season at least. It's just too risky to make that move. Mariota has been lights out so far, but you just never know. It would be foolish to give up a key piece of insurance in the infancy phase of the Mariota era. Let's make it through year one, then we can talk.