With the trade deadline looming, the Dolphins managed to work out a trade with the San Diego Chargers, sending WR Chris Chambers to the Chargers in return for their second-round draft choice in the 2008 NFL Draft.
The team also released S Donovin Darius and placed DT Chase Page on Injured Reserve with a shoulder injury.
I think the move to release Darius is a good one. He played well, but he hardly played. The guy is fragile, and with the season already completely lost, it's time to start thinking about the future. I actually sensed this move coming. In my post-game analysis of the Browns game I made the following comment: "Donovin Darius can't stay on the field, so what good is having him here?" I'm really hoping that this move signals the coaches' decision to finally give Jason Allen his chance to play for an extended period of time in the secondary. With Darius out of the picture and Worrell struggling, give the job to Allen and let him sink or swim - just find out what we really have in him.
The team now has three open roster spots. I expect one of those spots to be filled by a quarterback since Trent Green will be returning in a month at the earliest and perhaps not at all. Gibran Hamdan is currently a member of the Buffalo Bills practice squad, and I think the Dolphins should sign him to its active roster. He's young, cheap, and he has experience in the system. There's no need to go out and sign a washed up old QB.
As for the remaining two spots, T Joe Toledo is now eligible to be activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list and would be a solid depth addition to the offensive line. Remember, he has been hurt for most of his NFL career, and Miami really needs to see if he can help this team down the road. With Chambers gone, I would also like to see Miami sign WR Kerry Reed from its practice squad. He was really good during the preseason, and the experience he could gain by getting some playing time could really help him. He could be an option for Miami's fourth or fifth receiver next season, so now is a good time to see what he can bring to the table, particularly on special teams.
As far as the Chambers deal is concerned, I think both teams made out pretty well. It's well known that San Diego has coveted a true number one receiver for some time now, and Chambers can provide that.
Many Dolphins fans will lament the fact that the team is losing the best receiver that it has had in some time. But if we can step back and look at this deal in the larger context, it is easy to see that the right decision was made.
This team is not going anywhere this year. If that is not already clear to you, then you should have your head examined. Everything is now about the future. In Chambers, the team had a 29 year old receiver, whose strength lay in his speed. Speed is the first asset to go once a player reaches the wrong side of 30. I think Chambers could have maintained his career average production in Miami for a couple more years down the line, but is that really something that the team needs? This team isn't going anywhere next year either, and realistically, by the time this team is prepared to contend, Chambers will be washed-up or close to it.
Better to get rid of him now while the value is still there.
And boy was the value there. Chambers was a second-round draft pick in 2001. It's now 2007, and the team just got that second-round pick back. Now think for a moment what the Raiders received for Randy Moss - a fourth-round pick. Sure, Moss had character issues, but we've all seen how winning football games can cure that. Getting a second-round pick for Chambers is great value.
This team desperately needs to establish a core of players that will be together 8 or 10 years into the future. Players like Samson Satele, John Beck, and Ted Ginn Jr. mark the beginnings of that foundation. Well, Beck and Satele were both second-round picks. If Miami can use this new pick to nab a solid secondary player or offensive lineman, that's one more piece of the puzzle.
I wish Chambers all the best. He was a great team player during his tenure in Miami and always seemed like a nice guy. Unfortunately, the team just never fixed itself in time to fully realize and utilize his abilities. He will get that chance now in San Diego.
Of course, losing Chambers means that there is now an opening in the starting lineup for Miami. With Marty Booker firmly entrenched as one starter, the opposite spot will either go to Derek Hagan or Ted Ginn Jr. Either way, each player is going to get more playing time as a result of this trade, and that is certainly a good thing. I am hoping that Ginn is given the second receiver spot, so that he can continue his progression as a receiver. Ginn is slated to be a future starter, so let that future begin now. If John Beck unseats Cleo Lemon as the team's starter in a month, then both of these guys can start forming the type of chemistry that will fuel this offense long into the future.