Chamberlain Goes Home

At a time when Mike Tice is more concerned about the Preakness than other teams' signings, VU has been told a former Viking could be the key to a chain of events that will have an impact on football fans everywhere.

The word "ephedra" and the Vikings have a sad history with one another. Although he didn't test positive for the drug in an autopsy, the late (and sorely missed) Korey Stringer was the primary reason the NFL banned the weight-loss drug ephedra. The first Vikings casualty of that ruling was tight end Byron Chamberlain, who opted to take a supplement containing ephedra as opposed to backing away from the table and trying a salad occasionally.

Chamberlain, who was cut by the Vikings following a four-game suspension, subsequently signed by the Redskins and cut again, is in the headlines once again. Not for anything he's done, but for what is coming.

VU has been told by a source close to the Broncos that a TV spot has allowed Chamberlain to continue his NFL career.

On Friday, CBS announced that Deion Sanders was leaving the "NFL Today" pregame show. While no reason was immediately given as to why Sanders left, VU has been told that the network was looking for a spot for Shannon Sharpe -- a Hall of Fame tight end for the Broncos who, after testing the network waters, had opted to return to Denver for another season.

Now, according to what we're being told, all that is up in the air. Sharpe is now much more likely to go back on his promise to return, which is why the Broncos are bringing back Chamberlain.

While Denver doesn't have an insane amount of tight ends on their roster like the Vikings' 10 candidates for four roster spots, they aren't bankrupt -- although one of the current roster spots is manned by O.J. Santiago -- who Vikings coach Mike Tice gave up on rather quickly.

Chamberlain was always a friend of VU. He was pleasant, personable and always willing to answer questions when other players would blow off reporters. VU is happy he has found a home. But, there has to be a tinge of sadness when a job in the broadcast realm overrides playing the game. Good luck, Shannon. Here's hoping Chamberlain can have the type of season he had after leaving Denver -- 57 catches for 666 yards, three touchdowns and a trip to the Pro Bowl.

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