Chargers Land Chambers, Place Parker on IR

For the third time in the last four years, A.J. Smith was active at the trading deadline. Smith reeled in his biggest fish yet by landing Chris Chambers in exchange for a second-round pick. To make room for Chambers, the Chargers moved Eric Parker to the injured-reserve list.

Chris Chambers provides the outside threat the Chargers have been lacking since Curtis Conway went into decline. In his seventh season, Chambers' career numbers already include 405 receptions for 5,688 yards and 43 touchdowns. His best season came in 2005, when he notched 1,118 yards and 11 scores en route to a Pro Bowl appearance.

Chambers should be able to pick up right where he left off in Miami. He spent the 2002 and 2003 seasons playing under Norv Turner, who was the offensive coordinator in Miami at the time. Additionally, he's spent this season learning under Cam Cameron, the former offensive coordinator of the Chargers and a man whose system is nearly interchangeable with Turner's.

"Chris is an explosive, talented player and I'm thrilled to have an opportunity to work with him again," Turner said. "He's a very consistent player and he has big-play ability. We think he can add to what we're doing on offense. The bonus for us is that he's familiar with the system. It should be a quick and easy adjustment for him. We expect him to come in and be productive right away."

Eric Parker
Harry How/Getty

Chambers takes the place of Eric Parker, who was moved to the injured-reserve list after struggling to recover from offseason toe surgery. The team originally hoped to have Parker back by week six and then pushed that date back 3-4 weeks prior to the game against the Oakland Raiders. Parker received a second opinion on Monday and the Chargers thought it best to shut him down and let him come back at full strength next season.

The Chargers are counting on Chambers to step in and fill Parker's void. Chambers has more than twice as much experience as any other receiver on the roster -- save for special teams ace Kassim Osgood.

A.J. Smith is banking on the trade for Chambers paying big dividends. By giving up next year's second-round pick, the Chargers have only one selection in the first four rounds of the 2008 draft. Smith traded away his third-round pick when moving up for Eric Weddle in this year's draft; he spent the fourth-round selection on supplemental draft pick Paul Oliver.

Smith is hopeful he will get back a third-rounder as a compensatory pick, due to the loss of Donnie Edwards in free agency.

"We are very excited to add Chris to our team," Smith said. "He brings a wealth of experience and outstanding production. He is an extremely talented football player and we have held him in high regard throughout his career."

The trade for Chambers is eerily similar to the deadline deal for Keenan McCardell in 2004. At the time, the Chargers were 3-3 and preparing to move Reche Caldwell to the injured-reserve list. McCardell came in and lifted the Chargers to the next level. The team went 9-1 after the midseason acquisition and claimed its first division title in a decade.

The Chargers hope the acquisition of Chambers has a similar effect. The Chargers are once again sitting at 3-3. And once again, they seem well equipped to charge into the postseason.

Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a long-time contributor to the network. He has followed the Chargers for more than 14 years and covered the team since 2003.

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