Chris Chambers to San Diego: A Big Mistake for the Chargers

Forrest KobayashiSenior Analyst IOctober 16, 2007

IconEarlier this afternoon, the San Diego Chargers completed a trade that brought top Dolphins receiver Chris Chambers to the Bolts in exchange for a second-round draft pick.

At first glance, this deal seems to make sense for both teams.

San Diego, starving for help at wide receiver, acquires a good wideout to fill the void.

Miami receives a 2008 second-round draft pick, which they can use to build for the future.

This deal, however, is a large mistake for the Chargers.

Granted—not as bad as Ryan Leaf, but still quite bad.

Let's start with the Dolphins' side of the trade—the logical side.

In addition to the draft pick, Miami drops a significant contract from their roster. As a result, they can rededicate the cap space to younger players who will be brought into the organization in the future.

On the flip side, the Chargers acquire a big-name wide receiver in Chambers, who had the best statistical year of his career in 2005.

But his production has tailed off greatly since then.

To give Chambers credit, he had to deal with a rotating quarterback situation.  Jay Fiedler (who?), Gus Frerotte, Daunte Culpepper, and most recently, Trent Green and Cleo Lemon, have all completed passes to Chambers over the course of his career.

Many fans may point to this as a reason his career has been held back. I strongly disagree.

It is Chambers' attitude—not the play of his quarterbacks—that has severely limited his overall impact in the NFL.

Chris Chambers has been criticized for years for sloppy play and dodgy concentration, which have led to a plethora of dropped balls. His work ethic is highly questionable, and many scouts have recognized that when he gets discouraged, his focus completely disappears.

In moving to San Diego, Chambers will have to compete with Antonio Gates, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Vincent Jackson for catches. Many sources speculate that Chambers will lose a lot of targets (or receiving attempts) in his new offense.

Dealing with a reduced workload is a major issue. Chambers could potentially get discouraged—à la Randy Moss with the Raiders—and lose all motivation to play to the best of his ability.

Consider the fact that San Diego takes on a massive contract, and this move becomes highly questionable.

Eric Parker is currently injured, but is expected to return in the near future. Vincent Jackson and Craig "Buster" Davis are still young—but the Bolts should have been patient with their wideout corps.

No one would doubt that Jackson and Davis could eventually make up a great 1-2 wide receiver tandem with a few years of experience. But this deal could potentially stunt their growth and limit their overall NFL upside. 

The Dolphins mentioned that one of the motives for the deal was to give their young wideouts (Ted Ginn Jr. and Derek Hagan) more playing time and experience.

And don't forget that the Chargers sacrificed a high draft pick.

Considering how well the Chargers have drafted lately, this deal could be a real setback for the franchise. Many fans in San Diego may be ecstatic about the acquisition, but it won't have the impact that they believe it will.

Simply put, Chris Chambers is an overrated NFL wide receiver who will struggle with his new team.