The year was 2009. Michael Jackson was alive and kicking, Tiger Woods was an honorable man, the world was petrified of H1N1, and Jamaal Charles was the fourth running back in the Kansas City Chiefs’ pecking order.
Back before Charles was one of the most productive running backs in the game, the Washington Redskins showed a surprising degree of foresight and tried to trade for the young Kansas City Chief.
They offered Kansas City a fourth-round pick. The Chiefs countered with a third. That was too steep for then-Washington general manager Vinny Cerrato, and trade talks were put to bed.
In the two seasons since, no running back has come close to Charles in terms of yards per attempt. Charles came dangerously close to breaking Jim Brown’s single-season record in that category in 2010. He’s only 23 years old and has tons of tread on his tires. The future is bright.
Meanwhile, in Washington, Tim Hightower is trying to hold off Ryan Torain and Roy Helu for the starting running back job.
But on the bright side, the Redskins held onto that 2009 third-round pick. And where would they be today without former Maryland cornerback Kevin Barnes?