The Pittsburgh Steelers have claimed quarterback Zach Mettenberger off waivers, per Jason La Canfora.
Mettenberger was waived by the San Diego Chargers in the team’s initial wave of cuts. He saw scant playtime during the preseason, falling behind UDFA Mike Bercovici.
He was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He started ten games the next two seasons, losing all ten, while throwing 14 interceptions compared to just 12 touchdowns.
Arguably, his best game came in 2014, completing 27/41 passes for 299 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception in a 30-16 loss to the Houston Texans.
The Steelers have been searching for a third quarterback after Bruce Gradkowski’s hamstring injury that is still expected to keep him out for several more weeks. Until today, behind Ben Roethlisberger and Landry Jones, Bryn Renner was the only other healthy quarterback on the roster.
Bringing in Mettenberger could spell the end of Gradkowski’s season – and probably his Steelers’ career. The Steelers do need to make a corresponding move to officially add Mettenberger.
According to Over the Cap, he was owed $600,000 in base salary this season. Because the Steelers claimed him, they will take on his contract, which runs through this year and next. His salary will bump up to $690,000 in 2017.
Though his NFL career has been rocky, the Steelers showed interest in him coming out of LSU. Back in 2014, Chris Bradford reported the team had a “high” level of interest in Mettenberger and we floated the possibility in the spring. The Steelers did not put a waiver claim in on him back in May after he was released by Tennessee.
UPDATE: Jeremy Fowler is reporting Bruce Gradkowski will go to IR.