Incase you haven't heard, the Chargers have released receiver Chris Chambers. Chambers, as you all know, spent the first six and a half years in Miami as a Dolphin - even earning a Pro Bowl appearance in 2005. But he was also a serious under-achiever as a Dolphin, with his performance never really matching the talent his possessed. In San Diego, it has been much of the same.
But, of course, Chambers has already been linked to the Dolphins - both by fans and even by one of the most trusted NFL insiders in the business. Dolphin fans seem to be very interested in bringing back the 31 year old receiver. And ESPN's Adam Schefter even said during Monday Night Countdown that the Dolphins and Ravens could be potential landing spots for Chambers. Of course, Cam Cameron, Baltimore's offensive coordinator, was also the head coach of the Dolphins when they traded Chambers away in 2007.
So let's talk about this for a moment. First off, here's the current situation. Chambers must pass through waivers first. Teams have until 4 pm on Tuesday to put in a waiver claim on Chris. If a team claims him, they must pay him the remaining portion of his 2009 salary, roughly $2.4 million. If Chambers passes through waivers unclaimed, then any team can sign him at any time at a negotiated price tag.
We know that GM Jeff Ireland will strongly consider every "acorn" that shakes free and Chambers is definitely an acorn that needs some consideration. The Dolphins are simply not very well situated at the receiver position and Chambers could be the veteran this team needs. Then again, he might be exactly what the Dolphins do not need.
Chambers only has 9 receptions this season for 122 yards. Since 2008, Chambers has 42 catches for 584 yards and 6 touchdowns. But he's been targeted 95 times which means he's catching under 45% of the passes thrown his way. We also all know that it's not uncommon for Chris to drop a pass or two...or ten. According to STATS, Chambers has dropped 4 passes this season - or 13% of the balls thrown his way. For a comparison, Ted Ginn has 5 dropped balls on 41 targets, resulting in a 12% drop rate. If everyone is going to kill Ginn for his "inconsistency" then I think we need to be fair and recognize that Chambers has been even worse.
Let's also think about this. The Chargers are releasing him for a reason. They didn't have to release him. And San Diego might even have to pay him that $2.4 million as a termination payment if Chambers is not claimed by another team. But even with that said, the Chargers were willing to cut ties with the former Pro Bowl receiver. And that means Malcom Floyd will join Vincent Jackson as a starting receiver for the Chargers. San Diego's new third receiver is now Legedu Naanee. By the way, those two receivers - Floyd and Naanee - have combined for 92 career receptions. And yet, the Chargers were still willing to part ways with Chambers.
Doesn't that say a lot about Chris and what he might have left?
Lastly, while the Dolphins don't have any real veteran receiver and clearly need an upgrade at the position, what does bringing Chambers aboard solve? You bring him aboard and suddenly you're taking playing time away from the young receivers - Brian Hartline and Davone Bess, for example - and restricting their development. There's also another rookie, Patrick Turner, who is getting closer and closer to seeing game snaps. Tony Sparano said on Monday that Turner has put together a couple of "solid weeks of practice" and is getting "better and better" and added that "sooner or later we'll see him."
If we were talking about a veteran who could come in and be the number one receiver this team needs, then I'd be all for signing that player. The problem? Chris Chambers is not that player. No need to go try and recapture the past by bringing back an aging receiver. After all, do you see the Dolphins reaching out to Sam Madison or Patrick Surtain? No, not even after they lost Will Allen for the season. They want to let the young corners play. I get the feeling they probably feel the same way about the receivers.