Former Redskins tight end Chris Cooley believes he can still play, and he doesn’t seem to be interested in playing for another team.
In the end, he could be right back with the Redskins.
The hint came not long into his press conference. “Today, for the time being, will be my last day as a Redskin,” Cooley said.
Though it’s unclear whether the Redskins’ decision to cut Cooley was preceded by a request to reduce his base salary of $3.8 million, an important factor was absent from the normal take-a-pay-cut-or-take-a-hike protocol: Cooley has no agent.
His agent, Gary Wichard, died March 11, 2011, the day the player lockout started. NFLPA records still list Wichard as Cooley’s agent.
If Cooley had an agent, the agent could have “gauged the market” for Cooley’s services, calling around to see who would be interested and how much they would pay before giving the Redskins an answer. (Yes, it’s tampering. And, yes, it happens all the time.)
Since Cooley has no agent, the Redskins had to cut Cooley before he could find out whether and to what extent their offer compares favorably to what other teams would pay. In the end, with or without an agent, Cooley may realize that the reduced money the Redskins would be willing to pay Cooley is still more than what anyone else would offer — especially with Cooley hitting the market less than two weeks before the start of the 2012 regular season.
Still, Cooley could have options elsewhere, especially with teams copying the Patriots multi-tight-end approach. His best move would be to quickly hire someone to gather offers so that, in the end, he can decide whether his best move will be to return to the Redskins for a much lower salary in 2012.