Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Should Redskins trade for Le'Veon Bell?

October 11, 2018 - 4:47 pm

By Ben Krimmel

After getting absolutely shellacked by the Saints, the mood in D.C. has soured on the Redskins. But, the 'Skins are still in first place in the NFC East, and in decent position to fight for a playoff birth.

How can Washington increase their postseason chances? ESPN's Bill Barnwell has an idea: Get Le'Veon Bell.

After identifying four potential landing spots for the Steelers' disgruntled superstar (Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, Houston, and Washington), Barnwell sees the Redskins as a "better fit for a few reasons."

"Washington already has injury issues at running back with Derrius Guice done for the season and both Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson leaving the game against the Saints for stretches. Peterson has a dislocated shoulder, while Thompson injured his ribs. Bell would be a massive upgrade on Peterson," Barnwell writes

Barnwell suggests the Redskins send a 2019 third-round pick to Pittsburgh for the three-time pro bowl running back, who, in 15 games last season totaled 1,291 rushing yards, 655 receiving yards, and 11 touchdowns. 

Some will argue Washington isn't in any position to compete and shouldn't sacrifice a future pick for a win-now player.

But there is reason for optimism. The Redskins' chances of winning the NFC East actually went up since Monday's lopsided defeat. FiveThirtyEight.com gave the Redskins a 30 percent chance at making the playoffs and a 21 percent chance at winning the division, up three percent. (ESPN's Football Power Index gave the Redskins a 29 percent chance at making the postseason and a 22.8 percent shot at the division.)

Another reason Barnwell sees Washington as a potential landing spot for Bell: Owner Dan Snyder loves big names.

"(Snyder) is irrational and shortsighted, which isn't news," Barnwell writes. "Trading for Bell would win Daniel Snyder positive short-term headlines in D.C. as Kirk Cousins plays well in Minnesota."

While a third-round pick for a player the Redskins are only renting until the end of the season may seem a high price, the Redskins did get the top compensatory pick (end of the third round) in the 2019 NFL Draft when Cousins left in free agency.

"You can imagine it might make Snyder feel better to be able to tell people that Washington got a year of Bell and a comp pick for letting Cousins leave," Barnwell writes.

Without a postseason trip since 2015, the gamble of a third-round pick may be worth it.

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