Melvin Gordon

Five players the Bears should consider targeting at the NFL trade deadline

Five players the Bears should consider targeting at the NFL trade deadline

The 2019 NFL trade deadline (Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 3:00 p.m. CST) is quickly approaching, and that means general manager Ryan Pace has less than one week to determine if a trade is what this team needs to salvage a once-promising season.

The Bears have more than just one weakness; there isn't one simple solution or one position upgrade that'll fix the ever-growing mess. But there are a few veterans who could be had on the trade market who would represent an uptick in overall talent on this team. 

Here are five options for Pace to consider.

RB Melvin Gordon (Chargers)

Gordon had one of the most ridiculous training-camp-into-regular-season holdouts in recent contract-dispute history. It literally accomplished nothing for the talented well-rounded running back, who would bring a combination of experience and big-play ability to the Bears' backfield. What we do know, however, is that Gordon is looking for a big contract, one that Los Angeles isn't going to pay him. And if they aren't going to pay him, Pace might as well try to bring him to Chicago for at least the final 10 games of this season. The Bears' running game is arguably the worst in the NFL. Acquiring a player like Gordon, even if it's a one-year rental, can only help.

OT Trent Williams (Redskins)

The Bears' struggles along the offensive line haven't been because of any particular player; it's not like Chicago needs an upgrade at offensive tackle because Bobby Massie and Charles Leno, Jr. are playing poorly. They aren't. But Williams, who's vowed to never play for the Washington Redskins again, is one of the NFL's best all-around offensive linemen and would be a bonafide blue-chipper upfront. What would a Williams addition mean for Leno, Jr. and Massie? That's anyone's guess. But if a player of his caliber can be had at the trade deadline, Pace would be doing the Bears a disservice by not at least inquiring.

QB Case Keenum (Redskins)

Sadly, this is where we are with the Bears' quarterback situation. A player like Keenum, a veteran journeyman who's had as many lows as highs in his career, could actually be an upgrade for Chicago at the trade deadline. And it's not because he projects as a better longterm option than Trubisky. Rather, Keenum is the prototype quarterback who can inject life into an offense when it needs it most. The Bears wouldn't necessarily be giving up on Trubisky by acquiring a player like Keenum, but they would take a big step toward salvaging their playoff hopes.

TE OJ Howard (Buccaneers)

Howard is the most underused yet supremely talented players in the entire league. It's obvious he needs a change of scenery, and it's similarly obvious that the Bears need more than what Trey Burton is giving them at tight end. Howard is the perfect blend of power and athleticism to stay on the field in both running and passing situations and he can be a lethal weapon down the field for Trubisky (or whoever's under center). He's also a high-end run blocker. Win-win. The Buccaneers have said they aren't interested in trading Howard at this point, but where there's smoke? You know the rest.

OLB Vic Beasley (Falcons)

Beasley is essentially the Falcons' version of Leonard Floyd, with one exception. Beasley proved there's sack potential buried deep down inside him somewhere. He had 15.5 sacks in 2016. Compare that to Floyd, who has 17 sacks in nearly 3.5 seasons. The Falcons pass rush has been terrible in 2019, and Atlanta looks like they're ready to be sellers after dealing wide receiver Mohamed Sanu to the Patriots for a second-round pick. Beasley, who has the kind of quick-twitch that would make for an interesting pairing with Khalil Mack, would likely require nothing more than a Day-3 selection to pry away. 

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Should the Chicago Bears trade for Melvin Gordon?

Should the Chicago Bears trade for Melvin Gordon?

The Bears running game has struggled mightily in 2019. In fact, it's been downright atrocious. Non-existent. Invisible. Nowhere to be found.

You get the point.

But a good running game has a lot of moving parts. Literally. Most notably, it requires a competent offensive line that consistently creates running lanes for the ball carrier, no matter who it is.

The Bears have a talented young running back on the roster in rookie David Montgomery. They invested a third-round pick on him and there's no indication the team has soured on his long-term projected despite a rough five-week span that's seen the former Iowa State star average just 3.3 yards per carry.

His struggles are more than just his own, however. He needs help from his offensive line. Most of his carries result in contact at or near the line of scrimmage, and for a first-year player who's still adjusting to life in the NFL, that just isn't a recipe for immediate success.

Here's the thing with the NFL, though: it's a 'what-have-you-done-for-me-lately league.' So if an upgrade can be had (at any position), the Bears have to at least consider it.

According to former Browns offensive lineman and current NFL Network analyst Joe Thomas, GM Ryan Pace should take a long and hard look at Chargers star, Melvin Gordon.

"I would love to see my Badger, Melvin Gordon, go to the Chicago Bears," Thomas said this week. "They're a team right now with a quarterback that's struggling a little bit. Matt Nagy would love to have a weapon like Melvin Gordon who's great not only running the football, but he's great catching the football out of the backfield.

"The type of weapon that he could be, the security blanket that he could be for Mitch Trubisky would be outstanding for this team. He would give Mitch Trubisky a lot of opportunities to get some easy completions, some throws out of the backfield to start boosting his confidence."

Not the worst idea in the world, but let's be honest: there's no way Pace is going to pull the trigger on a running back who's already expressed his desire to be paid among the elite players at his position despite production that simply doesn't put him on that level.

Sure, Gordon would be a fun and exciting addition for a Bears offense that needs a spark right now, but it's way too early to suggest Montgomery can't be that guy once the offensive line and overall flow of the offense improves.

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