Niles Paul’s position switch could be bad news for Cooley

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As mentioned in the Saturday one-liners, Redskins receiver Niles Paul has moved to tight end.  Actually, Paul recently told LaVar Arrington and Chad Dukes of 106.7 The Fan in D.C. that the switch began last year, and that it has now become permanent.

So what does the decision to move the 2011 fifth-round pick mean to the other tight ends on the roster?  Could soon-to-be-30-year-old Chris Cooley, who already has lost his position as the No. 1 tight end to Fred Davis, be in trouble of getting cut?

Paul avoided the question of whether he’s competing with Cooley for the No. 2 position on the depth chart.

“I honestly don’t know,” Paul said.  “Right now I’m at the learning stage. . . .  I’m a competitor, so I’m going to compete no matter what I do.  So I’m just trying to find my way on the field any way I can.”

Cooley, who missed 11 games in 2011 due to injury, is due to earn a base salary of $3.8 million in 2012.  In those five games, he generated a total of 65 receiving yards.  (The previous season, Cooley tied a career high with 849 yards.)

There previously had been speculation that Cooley could be done in D.C.  The shift of Paul to the position Cooley plays will do nothing to end that speculation; at a minimum, the team could be looking for a way to persuade Cooley to take less money in order to remain with the Redskins.

53 responses to “Niles Paul’s position switch could be bad news for Cooley

  1. The Redskins can not afford to cut Cooley.

    He started the five games that he was healthy for and had eight catches. He went down with a knee injury and had kept his nose clean since Shanarat became the head coach. (IE: stopped posting naked helmet pics of the playbook)

    Besides Fred Davis is suspended four games for smoking the happy herb during the lockout. I guess someone forgot to mention that in an effort to try an and persuade Cooley to take less money in order to remain with the Redskins.

  2. Remember too that the Redskins made a strong push to sign ex Seahawks TE John Carlson. Whether or not that was an attempt to oust Cooley or add another TE for depth given Davis’ precarious situation isn’t clear right now. I will say this however: Cooley has plenty left in the tank, would be great security blanket for a rookie QB, and as just noted would provide quality, Pro Bowl caliber backup for Davis. In short, if the Refskins dump Cooley, they’d be really stupid.

  3. I have said for a long period of time that the offensive core of Clinton Portis, Santana Moss and Chris Cooley had their chances in 2005 – 2010 and failed. It’s time the team moved on from them. I don’t know what took so long. They all would have been gone after 2009 in my opinion. They all turn the ball over in crucial situations and are not clutch performers. Look at their tape.

  4. Shanahan is cleaning out players that aren’t his own, that doesn’t fit his system. Too much money on the table for Cooley to stay in Redskins land.
    Come to Oakland Cooley, we’ve always admire your passion for the game and we know you have plenty left.

  5. Besides Fred Davis is suspended four games for smoking the happy herb during the lockouts
    ————————————–
    Davis served his four game suspension at the end of last season buddy.

  6. On PFT, no fans are more sure about what they say about their team than Redskins fans. gotta love em.

    Cooley is good and i see him sticking around.

  7. Need to keep Chris around in case Fred cant kick his weed habit and gets a one year suspension. Plus RG3 will need a proven, reliable outlet for all the dink and dumps Kyle seems to draw up.

  8. The Skins had been working on having Cooley play fullback last year as well. Moving Paul to TE does not guarantee Cooley is cut.

  9. This could actually turn out to be a brilliant move. In case you forgot, Shannon Sharpe was around the same size and build as Niles Paul. Not saying that he is the next Shannon Sharpe though. But you can’t deny that at 6’1 230lbs Paul is a tweener and an interesting prospect as a TE. I hope it works, it could definetly renew Coach Shanahan’s offensive genius card.

  10. Cooley has been hurt a lot, if Paul can get some weight on him and learn all the necessary techniques of being a TE, the Skins will have a scary offense. I watched the Skins last year and they where just a QB and a consistent after the catch threat away from being a playoff team. They’re gonna get Griffin, they got Garcon, and now Paul will be a TE. The Skins can also run the stretch better when using 2TE sets because they will see a lot of nickel formations from opposing defenses to cover two athletic Tight Ends. This can be great for the Skins. Let Cooley go and sign somewhere else where he’ll be needed. Groom Griffin, Paul, and Hankerson. The Skins look to have an explosive offensive this year. But then again they’re still the Redskins

  11. raiderinva says: Apr 21, 2012 10:22 PM

    “The Redskins can not afford to cut Cooley.

    He started the five games that he was healthy for and had eight catches. He went down with a knee injury and had kept his nose clean since Shanarat became the head coach. (IE: stopped posting naked helmet pics of the playbook)

    Besides Fred Davis is suspended four games for smoking the happy herb during the lockout. I guess someone forgot to mention that in an effort to try an and persuade Cooley to take less money in order to remain with the Redskins.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————————————

    fantom21 says: Apr 21, 2012 10:49 PM

    Besides Fred Davis is suspended four games for smoking the happy herb during the lockouts
    ————————————–
    Davis served his four game suspension at the end of last season buddy.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————————————

    I thought players couldn’t be disciplined for actions committed during the lockout, as they didn’t have jobs and weren’t representatives of the NFL and their teams at that point.

  12. The thought of moving Paul to TE threatens Cooley is a non story if I have ever seen one.

    Cooley is still solid and if not for being laid out by a crappy Grossman pay that gave the DB a kill shot; Cooley would have played the season.

    Two TE sets are the fashion if a team has the athletes, and the Redskins have that capability in Cooley and Davis. Yes, both have their issues, Cooley is 30 years old and Davis is one test away from serious consequences, so moving Paul over the TE is a great idea. Yes he is 220 lbs, but he has the body type to put on another 20lbs and not loose a step. He is fast and a good downfield blocker as evidenced last year when he was brought in on some running plays.

    Good post on Shanahan’s inclination to want to recreate a Shannon Sharpe clone. Last year’s draft may turnout to be one of the best in the organization’s history.

  13. Would that be the same Niles Paul who caught 2 passes for 25 yards in 13 games? The 6’1, 225 pound guy? Has the whole world gone crazy?

  14. Don’t see this happening at least this year. Cutting Cooley now will not provide any benefit to the Skins cap wise this coming season.

  15. I don’t think Cooley’s gone yet, unless the Skins know something about his knee the rest of us don’t. He still has another 4-5 or more years left age wise and brings a ton to the table in ability and experience. I see the Paul move more as insurance in case Fred Davis is caught again with the Bob Marley recreation of choice. Davis has some growing up to do, and everything that Davis isn’t – Cooley is.

  16. Hey raiderinva you should stick to your own team Davis served his suspension last season. Just a little fact check before you make a statement helps.

  17. Something must be up the skins have Fred Davis ,Logan paulsen(blocking tight end) and now Niles Paul.Skins will probably try to get a 4th for him on draft day.Theyre probably itching to draft more of those senior bowl kids they coached.HTTR!

  18. As much as I would hate to let Cooley go for the simple fact he has been one of (excuse me The Only) bright spot we have had for years. Niles to TE would be a good move. He has always been a good blocker going back to his Nebraska days. A WR converted to TE would be a mismatch for all LB’s and most Nickel BD’s. If he puts on 15 to 20 pounds and can still run a 4.45 forty he could be a good TE. Plus he could be another Red Zone threat which we definitely need. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Draft Day trade for a 3rd or 4th round pick for Cooley. Hello Oakland!!!

  19. Does anyone have a memory? at no point last year was Chis Cooley healthy- not from the very start of training camp. he was recovering from knee problems from the previous year, and had trouble with his recovery due to the lockout…

    he showed up to play and immediately started having fluid drained from his knee…when he finally started to get on the field, he broke his ankle.

    look, the guy could be done from this accumulation of injuries, it surely won’t help him be faster. but cooley was never a speed guy in the first place. there’s always a place for hard nosed, smart, and crafty veterans…..

  20. Shannon Sharpe was nothing more than a glorified slot receiver. He rarely lined up like a traditional TE and when he did looked out of place. I don’t think Paul is as big as Sharpe and I think sharpe probably played at closer to 245. He was 230 when he came into the league and definitely got bigger.

  21. Who cares the redskin fans r the worst and I mean it!!! As a lions fan growing up in the dc area I have heard it all I mean the excuses and how every season it’s gonna b different… The last few times my boys have rocked these punks all my friends say we lost cause this and that the point is u lost suck it up u guys will b horrible as long as Snyder is in charge so shut up and deal with it!!

  22. Cooley is way too good to get rid of for a measly $3.5 and change. He is a complete TE. Excellent blocker and routes are damn near perfect. Davis makes big plays but Cooley WILL be RG3’s go to. Remember Art Monk? Always open. Always controlling his blocks.

  23. raiderinva says:
    Apr 21, 2012 10:22 PM
    The Redskins can not afford to cut Cooley.

    He started the five games that he was healthy for and had eight catches. He went down with a knee injury and had kept his nose clean since Shanarat became the head coach. (IE: stopped posting naked helmet pics of the playbook)

    Besides Fred Davis is suspended four games for smoking the happy herb during the lockout. I guess someone forgot to mention that in an effort to try an and persuade Cooley to take less money in order to remain with the Redskins.

    Ok first of all Davis served the suspension the last 4 games of last season…so where were you that you didn’t know this? Secondly it’s a business what you get paid and what you produce matters these days, so if there’s no production and you’re getting paid a bit much one of two things will happen you either take a pay cut or get cut…

  24. classactcalvin81- Classless. This team is not far off. Cerroto was the worst! It takes time to rebuild. Besides, you may need to get another DT with Ndamukong Su one “step” away from being made another “example” from the hand of GODdell…

  25. they will find away to keep him. every young qb needs a solid veteran TE who knows how to get open. last season he was used at te,fb,and h back. He is a solid blocker and can catch the ball from any position you put him. i think this move is just to ensure Davis doesnt toke up any more and to add comp. to the position.

  26. They don’t need to spend all that money on the TE position, but having two starting quality TE’s would be a nice luxury for RGIII to throw to.

  27. @doomsdaydware94

    I think watching Tony Romo choke games away and win nothing meaningful is hilarious!!

  28. Why don’t we all wait to see how Niles does blocking before we all rush to judgement on this…? Cooley has looked pretty mediocre the past couple of years, but at the same time, is Niles a stretch for this transition? Why do the Skins always have to have a project, rather than a true player? Like all of our LBs vs. DEs….Let someone come in and be what they were in college!

  29. The skins like to go with 3 TE’s, and Niles is being groomed for this position. Cooley is the glue to this offense, him and Kyle have a great relationship. The kid is only in his second year, so he has many years ahead of him to become a productive TE for the skins. He is a great special teams player, and the WR position is stacked so to me, it looks like Logan Paulson is the odd man out. This is a non story concerning Chris Cooley.

  30. Cooley is pretty solid as a radio guest. Save your knee Cooley and make a career switch. Thanks for all the awesome years. It sucks that Skins management is finally coming to its senses in the twilight of your career. I wish these moves would’ve happened sooner, for your sake. RGIII to Cooley would’ve been fun to see.

  31. We shoulda traded Cooley in the middle of JG2.0. Now he’s a byline.

    Oh what am I saying – we still woulda had Snyderrato making the resultant pics.

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