Now with a big contract in hand, Chambers appears destined to follow in the shadows of his past mistakes instead of embracing the future.
Far too often, we hear this sad tale in the NFL. A scorned journeyman player has a big year (or in this case, a half a year) and wants a big new contract.
In March when free agency began, the Chiefs were saddled with major deficiencies at wide receiver. They had Dwayne Bowe and little else. Still, after the year Bowe had in Kansas City in 2009, the team didn't know what they had in him either.
Chambers, who was the best receiver Kansas City put on the field a year ago, was an impending free agent. He knew based on his performance in a Chiefs uniform that he could be able to strike a rich deal somewhere else. Or so he thought.
But at the onset of Chambers' freedom in the open market, not a single team offered him anything but an incentive laden one-year contract.
So when he discovered that other NFL teams were afraid his San Diego reputation as a complainer might return someday, everyone backed off – except the Chiefs.
The Chargers booted Chambers in 2009 after he complained about playing time.
General Manager Scott Pioli wasn't sure what lay ahead in the NFL draft, so he signed Chambers to a three-year contract for roughly $15.5 million. The deal included guaranteed dollars that would put $5 million into Chambers' bank account.
Not bad iron for a thirty-something player nearing the end of his NFL run.
So you'd think he'd be grateful as the team got off to a hot start. You'd think he would realize that the Chiefs are riding a new wave of football and he could be a big part of that success.
But as his production fell and his playing time waned in the first three games of the 2010 season, the Chiefs moved on.
As the team prepared for the Indianapolis Colts, rumblings began Chambers was unhappy with his role in the offense. But after injuring his finger early in the Colts game, he made a cameo appearance in the fourth quarter. But the injury was reportedly not severe and he could have played in the Chiefs last two games. But his head coach put him on the inactive list. And Chambers isn't happy about it.
So now he's talking to the local rag The Kansas City Star. In the interview, he indicates that his current experience in Kansas City is similar to that the one he found himself in San Diego. Well, he's right about that.
Does Chambers not understand that his current team is in first place and his old team is in last place in the AFC West. The Chiefs are fighting for a playoff spot, and his complaining could be viewed as troublesome for the Chiefs' young and impressionable players.
The last thing they need to hear or see is a high paid veteran complaining about playing time and how the team is using him. So now he's going rouge in the media, and he's about to get the wrath of his general manager.
So you could say, Chambers isn't a very good teammate. On a team where there hasn't been a single "I" guy all season long, he's about to jeopardize the hard work this organization has done this year. And if he keeps it up, he'll be jettison from the team like Bernard Pollard, Larry Johnson and most recently Jarrad Page.
Chambers was once a pro bowl player for the Miami Dolphins.
Each placed themselves above the team. It's likely that the Chiefs will send Chambers down that same path at some point, and they will eventually be a better team for it. That's harsh, I know. But it's also maddening because the Chiefs desperately need Chambers.
With an apparent high ankle sprain to Dexter McCluster that could keep him out of the Bills game, Chambers had a golden opportunity to play through his apparent injury and selfishness to help the Chiefs defeat Buffalo at home Sunday.
Instead he's whining, putting forth a lessor effort in practice, and doesn't want to fight to win his job back. And per our NFL Source, Pioli has made it clear to Chambers' representatives that anything short of maximum effort going forward is the only way their client is going to get back on the field.
In other words, he best put the team first as everyone else on the 53-man roster has done to date.
Maybe if Chambers wants inspiration he should look no further than directly at Dwayne Bowe. Has he seen the way Bowe blocks down the field on running plays? Do you see him complaining or even talking to the media about the lack of passes being thrown his way?
Nope. Instead, he's helping out his teammates on every snap. And to think some thought Bowe was the immature one.
Oh well, there's always one on every team – especially when you're winning. But one thing is certain with Pioli in charge: if Chambers keeps it up, this problem will take care of itself.