The Miami Dolphins apparently looking towards the future, particularly with their receiving corps. Jeff Darlington of the Miami Herald is reporting that Dolphins wide receiver Chris Chambers is on the trading block and that teams around the league are aware of his availability. I would imagine there are several reasons for Chambers becoming trade bait just before the regular season.
One theory is the Dolphins’ growing confidence in Ted Ginn, Jr.; apparently the team is very satisfied in Ginn’s development as a WR which would make Chambers expendable. Chambers wasn’t used prominently during the preseason yet the Dolphins’ coaches had no complaints about Chambers. A problem that Chambers is facing at the moment is the fact that he recently pled not guilty to “driving while impaired” charges; the case is still pending. Assuming that Chambers faces legal sanctions, the possibility of some form of discipline by the NFL is very real.
A potential obstacle facing the Dolphins in trying to trade Chambers is his salary; his salary for the 2007 season is $7.3 million. Any team who trades for him would have to assume that salary, unless Chambers agrees to some restructuring of his contract with his next employer. Also, assuming the Dolphins are indeed shopping Chambers around, that could be an indication that he could possibly be cut on Saturday. The Dolphins are currently not locked into any money for this season except for Chambers’ accelerated bonus.
Time obviously is very short for the Dolphins to bring closure to this episode. It is unfortunate that the Dolphins are either considering shopping him around or releasing him altogether; the team has few quality options at WR (Marty Booker, Ted Ginn, Jr., Derek Hagan and Az-Zahir Hakim). From all appearances, it looks like the Dolphins are in “rebuilding” mode yet again. And Chambers happened to have an off-year (for him), especially considering that he had to learn a new system (59 catches, 677 yards). And his Pro Bowl appearance in 2005 indicates he hasn’t really lost anything, so again for repetition’s sake, whoever gets Chambers will get a quality WR. But nothing has been settled yet, so let’s see what the next few days bring.