Teams That Should Trade For Ian Book
As we inch closer to each NFL team trimming down their rosters to 53 next week, every franchise in the league will be looking to their competitors for ways to improve their own personnel. This deadline could also see trade talks heat up around the league, as teams try to get something back for a player that may not have a spot on their 53-man roster. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, as they say.
A player that has reportedly caught the interest of teams is New Orleans Saints rookie quarterback Ian Book. During Monday night’s broadcast of the Saints’ second preseason game, it was said that general managers have called the Saints to gauge their interest in trading Book.
It’s easy to understand why teams may identify this as an opportunity. The Saints are pretty set at the top of their quarterback depth chart with Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston, even if we don’t know which one of them will be the starter. It’s worth noting that the presence of Winston and Hill didn’t stop the Saints from drafting Book in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. If the Saints keep three quarterbacks, then there’s another viable option in the form of veteran signal-caller Trevor Siemian. TDN's own Crissy Froyd recently examined the fascinating battle going on between Book and Siemian.
With that said, let’s examine some teams that should inquire about trading for Book.
The Falcons just lost backup quarterback A.J. McCarron for the year after he suffered a season-ending injury in the team’s second preseason game. Yes, Atlanta has already signed the infamous Josh Rosen in the wake of McCarron’s absence, but Rosen is hardly guaranteed a roster spot, a fact that was covered by our TDN's Ryan Fowler, who recently took a closer look at Rosen’s dwindling career.
The other quarterback on the roster is undrafted free agent Feleipe Franks, who has failed to impress this preseason by going a miserable 6-of-18 for 62 yards and an interception through two exhibition games.
Arthur Smith is the new sheriff in town and he enjoys running an offense that asks his quarterback to make athletic plays on occasion, something we often saw from Ryan Tannehill in Tennessee under Smith’s guidance. Given what we know about Rosen and Franks, Book’s athletic ability would represent quite the upgrade behind Matt Ryan.
Seattle hasn’t exactly gotten competent play from their backup quarterbacks this summer. Geno Smith entered the preseason as the presumed No. 2, but exited the team’s first exhibition game with a concussion and didn’t feature in Saturday night’s 30-3 loss to the Denver Broncos. Veteran journeyman Sean Mannion is also on the roster but has failed to impress by completing just 20-of-34 passes for 152 yards while failing to throw for a touchdown despite playing significant snaps in two games.
Even if Smith is healthy in time for the regular season, Seattle should at least inquire about making a move here. Book thrived at extending plays outside of structure at Notre Dame, something Russell Wilson is known for. Wouldn’t allowing Book to learn behind Wilson make some sense? The more we think about it, the more we love this fit.
Raise your hand if you have much faith in David Blough or Tim Boyle as a backup quarterback? *Crickets.* Yeah, I didn’t think so.
In the face of fairness, Blough has handled himself well this preseason, completing 17-of-23 passes for 219 yards and a touchdown. At the end of the day, he’s still a 26-year-old quarterback with a 4:7 TD-to-INT career ratio.
One of the priorities in the Dan Campbell era will be to improve a Lions run game that has been abysmal in recent years. Taking a flier on Book, who relies on mobility and leadership perhaps more than any other traits, would seem like a good investment for a team that is trying to improve their culture and rushing output. With Jared Goff seemingly nothing more than a stop-gap option at quarterback, at least attempting to develop a rookie like Book sounds like a quality idea.