Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Dolphins Trade Chris Chambers to San Diego

The screams of joy heard coming from the Dolphins training facility at Nova Southeastern University probably came from the mouth of Chris Chambers. Well, actually there are no substantiated reports of Chambers yelling, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty. I'm free at last!" But I wouldn't blame him if he did. The Dolphins traded the wide receiver to the San Diego Chargers for a second round draft choice. Personally, I think this a trade that should benefit both teams. The Chargers need help at wide receiver and the Dolphins just simply need help period.

All kidding aside, Chambers has been a quality player for the Dolphins for nearly seven seasons. You could argue Chambers and Ronnie Brown have been the only outstanding offensive players drafted by the Dolphins in the last decade. A month ago, I had written a blog entry on how I thought the Dolphins shouldn't trade Chambers. But after watching the Dolphins continue to lose game after game, it was clear Chambers wasn't fitting into Cam Cameron's system or the team's future plans.

The Dolphins are a team in a rebuilding mode in desperate need of more draft picks. To get more draft picks, you're going to need to let some good talent go. Chambers is a good talent. He made the Pro Bowl in 2005 and has led the Dolphins receiving yards and touchdowns each of his first five years. His production fell off dramatically in 2006 and through the first six games, he caught 31 passes for 415 yards and no touchdowns.

As a Dolphin fan I greatly appreciate Chambers contribution to the franchise. He was a second round draft pick out of Wisconsin in 2001. He's been a more productive player than virtually all the receivers who were drafted ahead him. He would sometimes frustrate you by making spectacular catches at one moment and then dropping easy passes the next. But also remember he never had the opportunity to play with a good quarterback. Over the years his Dolphin quarterbacks have ranged from Jay Fiedler to A.J. Feeley to Gus Frerotte to a damaged Daunte Culpepper and now a concussed Trent Green. Its a sad trail of mediocre and broken passers.

Chambers will now head off to San Diego and play for a team that finished 14-2 just a year ago. The Chargers have struggled under new head coach Norv Turner and have been looking to bolster their wide receiving corps. Chambers should help. But at 29 years old, you have to wonder if his best years are behind him. An NFL receiver only has so many good years in him--unless your name is Jerry Rice. Once you turn 30, it's usually downhill from there. Chambers' departure from Miami should help rookie first round pick Ted Ginn get more quality playing time. I'd like to think Ginn's play in practice was a factor in making this trade happen.

The Dolphins will now get a second round pick. That's all in good. But you can acquire all the draft choice you want. You still have to pick good players. Picking the likes of Jason Allen and Lorenzo Booker is not going to make your team better. Lets hope general manager Randy Mueller can pick the right players this time.

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