AFC Links: Mettenberger, Manziel, Cyprien, Broncos

After an impressive showing Friday night behind already-anointed starter Marcus Mariota, Zach Mettenberger should be a Bills or Jets trade target, offers Louis Riddick of

But the value the Titans would extract in such an exchange wouldn’t equal what they’ll receive with the second-year quarterback serving as key depth behind the No. 2 overall pick, writes Riddick’s ESPN cohort, Paul Kuharsky.

The ESPN Titans reporter notes Mettenberger’s value will go up in time and trading him for what could amount to merely a conditional draft pick now won’t outweigh having a potentially talented backup in case Mariota struggles or experiences health concerns.

Let’s look at some more news from around the AFC.

  • Joining Julius Thomas as an injury-induced preseason spectator will be Jaguars starting safety Jonathan Cyprien, who will miss August with a broken finger in his right hand sustained Friday night, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union (via Twitter). The 2013 second-rounder’s Week 1 status is uncertain, but Cyprien did play through the injury Friday night and won’t require surgery. Jags coach Gus Bradley is optimistic both will be available, however, per Michael DiRocco of (on Twitter).
  • Mike Pettine admitted in an interview with Sports Illustrated he fired quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains due to Johnny Manziel not being held accountable for a disastrous rookie season, notes Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “What we did not do a good enough job here [last year], not nearly a good enough job, is holding [Manziel] accountable, even when he wasn’t the guy,” Pettine told Sports Illustrated. “That’s the main reason why I made the switch at the QB coach position.” The Browns now have 30-year-old Kevin O’Connell in charge of Manziel’s development.
  • The Browns’ coach has been publicly challenging players all week, noting his disagreement with Justin Gilbert‘s “flawless” assessment of his play Thursday night, per Jeff Schudel of the News-Herald.
  • The Broncos‘ hopes at attaining a third Super Bowl title hinge on their defense making good on expectations, unlike last year, writes Troy Renck of the Denver Post. They bring back most of the starting unit, with Terrance Knighton‘s nose tackle spot being the most noticeable void.
  • Dan Herron shouldn’t expect to serve in any type of committee with Frank Gore this season, and the fourth-year runner may not have a claim to the third-down back role he occupied at the end of last season, writes Kevin Bowen of Herron did catch 21 passes last season despite starting just three games, while Gore snagged 11 throughout the season.
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