Chamberlain, at 264 lbs., impressed Redskins

Updated: October 6, 2003, 5:14 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Less than a week after being released by the Minnesota Vikings for being overweight, Byron Chamberlain has a new home. The veteran tight end on Monday signed on with the Washington Redskins.

Terms and financial conditions of the contract were not immediately available.

Washington officials spent much of the weekend negotiating with Chamberlain's agent, after the ninth-year veteran performed impressively in a Friday audition for coaches and club personnel staffers. The former Wayne State standout caught the ball effortlessly in his workout and should add another dimension to the Redskins passing attack.

Chamberlain, 31, missed the first four games of this season after he was suspended by the league for testing positive for a supplement that included the banned substance ephedra. Upon his suspension, Minnesota coaches cautioned him that he would have to report back to the team after the sanction in top condition, or risk losing his roster spot.

Last Tuesday, when he was reinstated to the roster, Chamberlain was administered a very stringent physical examination and weighed in at 269 pounds. His listed weight was 250 pounds and Vikings coach Mike Tice preferred him to be 248 pounds. Given the results of the physical exam, Minnesota terminated Chamberlain's contract.

Although agent Jonathan Feinsod received approximately a half-dozen inquires about his client, the only visit that Chamberlain made was to Washington, and the Redskins told the tight end Friday they wanted to sign him following the weekend matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles.

To create a roster spot, the Redskins released tight end Zeron Flemister.

Washington has been attempting to add a tight end with exceptional receiving skills since the preseason and Chamberlain certainly fills the bill. The Redskins courted veteran free agent tight end Wesley Walls during camp but he opted to sign with Green Bay. While the Steve Spurrier-designed offense does not make great use of the tight end, there is a role for the position, especially in "red zone" situations.

Chamberlain, who weighed in at 264 pounds for the Redskins last week, has played in 102 games and started in 23 of them. He has 163 catches for 2,019 yards and six scores. His best season came in 2001, when he caught 54 passes for 645 yards, his first season with the Vikings. Last year, Chamberlain had 34 receptions for 389 yards.

He spent six seasons with the Denver Broncos before joining the Vikings as a free agent in 2001.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.