Skip to content

Redskins release Chris Cooley

12-19-10-chris-cooley-e1319732384135 Getty Images

The Redskins have released tight end Chris Cooley after eight seasons with the team.

Cooley announced the news via an emotional press conference conducted in the open air of the team’s practice field.

The two-time Pro Bowler said he has no issues with the move, and that he’ll take time to decide what to do next.  “I have every belief that I can play football,” Cooley said.  “I have every belief that I can be not only a productive player but a starter in this league.  I’m very confident in my ability to continue to play the game.  It would be a tough decision for me to put on another jersey.  It’s something I’ve never really had to imagine.”

But the clues were there, with Fred Davis emerging as the No. 1 tight end, Niles Paul moving to the position from receiver, and Cooley ultimately sliding to fullback.  Last year, Chris Russell of Daniel Snyder-owned ESPN 980 reported that Cooley most likely wouldn’t be back in 2012.

The Redskins avoid a $3.8 million base salary by cutting Cooley.  He instantly becomes a free agent, and he can sign with any team.

Permalink 90 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Rumor Mill, Top Stories, Washington Redskins
90 Responses to “Redskins release Chris Cooley”
  1. 4evrnyt says: Aug 28, 2012 2:32 PM

    Cardinals will most certainly give him a workout.

  2. areyoudue says: Aug 28, 2012 2:32 PM

    After Baker’s injury, the Jets should be all over him like white on rice.

  3. heathshuler says: Aug 28, 2012 2:33 PM

    a true great redskin. he will be missed by all skins fans. thank you for 8 awesome years. bets of luck to chris

  4. ottomanismydog says: Aug 28, 2012 2:34 PM

    He’d look good in Black and Gold

  5. r8rsfan says: Aug 28, 2012 2:34 PM

    Oakland Raiders – heard it here first.

  6. spellingcopfather says: Aug 28, 2012 2:34 PM

    Give it a few hours & then its, Welcome to Oakland Cooley!!!

  7. 1972wasalongtimeago says: Aug 28, 2012 2:34 PM

    JEFF IRELAND!!!!!

    JEFF IRELAND!!!!

    JEF IRELAND!!!!!!!

  8. alphaq2 says: Aug 28, 2012 2:34 PM

    Going to miss you Captain Chaos! Good luck to you!

  9. cubano76 says: Aug 28, 2012 2:34 PM

    Yeah, real smart move. Putting all your TE hopes on Davis and that little one more failed drug test and he’s gone thing.

  10. eagleswin says: Aug 28, 2012 2:34 PM

    Chris Cooley was the best receiving option on that team for a number of years. Best of luck to him. Getting old sucks.

  11. hailvictory10 says: Aug 28, 2012 2:35 PM

    Cooooooooley will always be a Redskin

    Hail 47

  12. nflsucker says: Aug 28, 2012 2:35 PM

    Jets, Giants and Cowboys could all use a spare TE, just to name the first that come to mind. The Giants and Cowboys could pick his brains apart on the Skins, too.

    He’ll find work.

  13. waitingguilty says: Aug 28, 2012 2:36 PM

    Thanks for the memories Chris.

  14. mjbulls45 says: Aug 28, 2012 2:36 PM

    RAIDERS

  15. jmsincla says: Aug 28, 2012 2:37 PM

    In the end, I know it was the right move, but it sucks when your team cuts your favorite player.

  16. peytonneck18 says: Aug 28, 2012 2:37 PM

    Cooley, who was the longest tenured Redskin, had a long and productive career with over 400 catches over his 8 year career. A definite “fan favorite”.

    Best of luck Chris! Hope you don’t sign anywhere in the NFC East!

  17. links41 says: Aug 28, 2012 2:38 PM

    Can’t believe my skins are willing to put the load on Fred and Niles. Fred is one puff away from being suspended and Niles doesn’t have any experience in blocking.

    Captain Chaos, you will be missed!

  18. jwreck says: Aug 28, 2012 2:38 PM

    Captain Chaos was the ultimate Redskins fan. Not only did he love the team and the game more than anybody, but he was actually on the team. CC was the only thing Washington fans had to look forward to over the last decade, and it’s a shame it had to end so quickly.

  19. hosslaxx says: Aug 28, 2012 2:40 PM

    redskins lost a great TE but it was time to move on…goodluck coolyman!!

  20. jetstizzi85 says: Aug 28, 2012 2:40 PM

    Visit with the Jets please

  21. mattyk72 says: Aug 28, 2012 2:41 PM

    Sucks to see him go but his time had come. His contract and recent injury history made this move a no-brainer decision. I wish him the best, he had a heck of a run in D.C.

  22. nflofficeadmin says: Aug 28, 2012 2:43 PM

    You’d think guys like Chad Johnson would run into the television both with open arms. They love the camera and have the personality. Walk away if you can do it financially and start up the next phase of a life making money of the game.

  23. duncanthecat says: Aug 28, 2012 2:44 PM

    Evidence that The Redskins are cutting quality players bodes well for the coming season.

    Cooley will be a solid additional to most any team both on the field and in the locker room.

  24. daysend564 says: Aug 28, 2012 2:45 PM

    Now he’ll have more time to train for fist fighting Romo.

  25. lifetimeskinsfan739 says: Aug 28, 2012 2:45 PM

    He truly embraced being a redskins, as much or more then I have ever seen. He also took fan interaction to a whole new level years before the first tweet. I wish him the best.

  26. vikesfansteve says: Aug 28, 2012 2:45 PM

    Ever since he married that girl and they opened up their little designer dishes shop in downtown Leesburg his game has really fallen off. Knee injuries don’t help.

  27. riverhorsey says: Aug 28, 2012 2:46 PM

    Jets could pick him up and maybe score a TD

  28. realitypolice says: Aug 28, 2012 2:47 PM

    If they knew as early as last year that he probably wouldn’t be back for this season, why did they wait so long to release him?

  29. joepa400 says: Aug 28, 2012 2:47 PM

    Chris cooley and Brent celek hmmmmmmm!

  30. gfyalbert33 says: Aug 28, 2012 2:48 PM

    Coooooley! Say it ain’t so… You didn’t make it on the field enough but when you did I loved every minute. You will be sorely missed and will always be known as a great redskin. Hope you ind your way back to dc either soon or post career!

  31. bubs215 says: Aug 28, 2012 2:48 PM

    Key phrase “today, for the time being, will be my last day to be a Redskin”
    I wouldnt rule out resigning him at a vet minimum down the road.

  32. str8h8tin says: Aug 28, 2012 2:48 PM

    Would like to see the Chargers give him a shot but AJ Stink is going to let this opportunity pass up. Gates and Cooley would be an awesome combo now that we don’t have any legitimate receivers.

  33. citizenstrange says: Aug 28, 2012 2:49 PM

    I guess he can’t help the team anymore but IMO a veteran tight end is a rookie qb’s best friend.

  34. rdixon50 says: Aug 28, 2012 2:51 PM

    Cards are loaded at TE – don’t need him. Can he play tackle?

  35. sausage9724 says: Aug 28, 2012 2:51 PM

    As an eagles fan…cooley was a great player and looked like a great team mate…that being said I would love to see him in philly

  36. cowboyhater says: Aug 28, 2012 2:54 PM

    This is just the fallout of the Mara led witch hunt that led the skins to have 36 million removed from their salary cap. His cap number just didn’t justify him being a back up TE. To all the NFC fans, forget about it. He will not go to your organization. He has done a terrific job building his own brand and life after football. I would not be surprised to see him ride off into the sunset, but I’m sure he will give it a go with another organization. He was one of my favorite players since the Joe Gibbs era 2.0. Good luck Chris, you were a fan favorite, and a classy individual.

  37. sean21taylorrip says: Aug 28, 2012 2:54 PM

    i think my wife is crying over this, then i explained to her that we have fred davis as long as he can stay off the reefer the skins will be fine, and then she asked if we were turning into the cowboys

  38. londonfletcher59 says: Aug 28, 2012 2:54 PM

    I don’t care what anybody says, this is a terrible move. Chris Cooley bled burgandy and gold, and our starting te is one positive drug test away from being out for a year. So long Captain Chaos. Dc will miss you!

  39. villa41 says: Aug 28, 2012 2:58 PM

    Welcome to Oakland, Mr. Cooley.

  40. capitaloffense says: Aug 28, 2012 2:59 PM

    I cannot express how sad I am to see this happen… I will leave it at that.

  41. nobs247 says: Aug 28, 2012 3:00 PM

    zach miller,Kevin boss, chris Cooley.

  42. fastfreddy22 says: Aug 28, 2012 3:00 PM

    Buffalo needs more depth!! It’d alsobe a great pickup just to play keep away from other AFC teams… Just being honest!!!

  43. axltcu says: Aug 28, 2012 3:01 PM

    I bet the Pats work him out.

  44. nflfollower says: Aug 28, 2012 3:04 PM

    Well if he played as well as he talked the last few years he wouldn’t be getting released.

  45. trollaikman8 says: Aug 28, 2012 3:06 PM

    3 years overdue. The guy is a bum.

  46. cletusvandam says: Aug 28, 2012 3:08 PM

    I think New England might be in the market for a new TE.

  47. rtant2013 says: Aug 28, 2012 3:08 PM

    Cooley has been a leader on this team for all 8 years. No skins fan can say a bad word about him and we all love ya man. I definitely think he needs to remain with the organization in any way possible. He definitely won’t be going to any team in the NFC east, he’s to much of a Redskin at heart. Does this mean we lose his wife as a cheerleader to? Haha hottest skin cheerleader ever

  48. tiger2471 says: Aug 28, 2012 3:10 PM

    Just ANOTHER good player the Skins release, or I should say Shanny releases, and NONE of his decisions up to now have been correct, but I hope RG3 is the right one. Cooley meant more to the Skins than just just play on the field, he meant a lot to the organization, the fan base and the community. I wish Cooley nothing but the best, a great guy and a great player.

  49. kappy32 says: Aug 28, 2012 3:13 PM

    With Travis Beckum on PUP & Jake Ballard gone by mistake, I would love to see the Giants take a flier. He could fit perfectly with their offense.

  50. bostonhasrealhockey says: Aug 28, 2012 3:15 PM

    Im sure hes on the pats radar lol

  51. manwhorzzz says: Aug 28, 2012 3:17 PM

    who wouldnt want cooley (or his wife)… get him out to San Diego to backup injury prone Gates.

  52. bigjdve says: Aug 28, 2012 3:20 PM

    I am really sad to see this happen. I know that he is getting a little older but he has always been more reliable than Davis, I mean he didn’t get suspended for pot use.

    I really hope this doesn’t bite them in the arse. Hopefully they will resign him.

  53. cheers4ablumpkin says: Aug 28, 2012 3:28 PM

    10$ the patriots sign him

  54. davekva72 says: Aug 28, 2012 3:30 PM

    Being a Cowboys fan in the DC area, I had a love-hate relationship with Cooley. I loved him on the local radio shows. He was always funny and entertaining, and seemed like a genuinely nice guy. I hated him when he played well against my Boys, and I cursed him when he talked trash about them(which was often). Now that he’s no longer a skin, I wish him well. I guarantee he will be on somebody’s roster by the end of this week.

  55. digirootune says: Aug 28, 2012 3:31 PM

    Hard news to take as a Skins fan. Thanks for the memories #47.

    I sincerely hope he lands with a contender and wins some damn hardware.

    HTTR

  56. worldsgreatest says: Aug 28, 2012 3:34 PM

    This is the heartbreaking side of the NFL. Good luck 47, in everything that you do. Thank you. You will be missed!

  57. cuda1234 says: Aug 28, 2012 3:37 PM

    Dolphins should sign Cooley AND Shockey. Wr’s stink and Tannehill has to throw to SOMEONE.

  58. cuda1234 says: Aug 28, 2012 3:38 PM

    ‘Fins should sign Jabbar Gaffney, too!

  59. jwreck says: Aug 28, 2012 3:44 PM

    vikesfansteve says:
    Aug 28, 2012 2:45 PM
    Ever since he married that girl and they opened up their little designer dishes shop in downtown Leesburg his game has really fallen off. Knee injuries don’t help.
    _____
    Yeah, marrying a gorgeous cheerleader, starting a family, and founding a successful business, what a jerk. Someone call Dez Bryant’s personal retinue service, this guy really needs to get his priorities straight.

  60. bluebongzilla says: Aug 28, 2012 3:45 PM

    The Cowboys should sign him. He can back up Jason Witten. And John Phillips.

  61. baddegg says: Aug 28, 2012 3:46 PM

    Holy cripes? Why not trade him for something? Was it too hard to trade him with his contract? He definitely still will have value to someone.

    Redskins better hope Mr. Davis lays off the weed this year!

  62. themightywhitey says: Aug 28, 2012 3:57 PM

    Cowboys dont need Cooley …..certainly dont need to pick his brain about the Skins ……they own the Skins already !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  63. raider17 says: Aug 28, 2012 3:58 PM

    Over 50 comments, and nobody is calling for the Redskins to honor their contract? Oh but every player should honor theirs?

    Al Davis Forever!!!
    Just Win Baby!!!

  64. dp311 says: Aug 28, 2012 3:59 PM

    Just KARMA coming back to him after all of the crap he talked about Romo. I don’t think he played after that, now that I think of it…

  65. ambitoos says: Aug 28, 2012 4:04 PM

    Cooley will have a job before the season starts. The weather is great in San Diego.

  66. kinggw says: Aug 28, 2012 4:14 PM

    Im glad Shanahan and crew finally did this. Cooley had some great years for the Skins but the last couple of years he was a shell of former self. Releasing Cooley was the prudent thing to do.

    Skins fans should embrace this move. Good teams don’t hold on to players just because they are fan favorites. The Shanahans finally did something right.

  67. skyslimit87 says: Aug 28, 2012 4:15 PM

    Jeez how hasn’t there been a story yet of this guy signing somewhere yet? He’s an awesome player!

  68. Giantspunk213 says: Aug 28, 2012 4:28 PM

    Maybe the bears will take a chance on him, they’ve needed a tight end ever since they sent Olsen away.

  69. jwreck says: Aug 28, 2012 4:33 PM

    dp311 says:
    Aug 28, 2012 3:59 PM
    Just KARMA coming back to him after all of the crap he talked about Romo. I don’t think he played after that, now that I think of it…
    ______
    Cooley was the ultimate Redskins fan, and part of being a Redskins fan is an unconditional hatred for the Cowboys and their players. It’s not personal, it’s just culture. If anybody on this site can honestly say there isn’t a player or team in the NFL they strongly dislike, they can say whatever they want about Karma, but it’s ridiculous to hold NFL players to a higher standard of fandom than you or I.

  70. boblavoie says: Aug 28, 2012 4:34 PM

    Hey Bill – Hey Bill -
    Another tightend!

  71. orakpocalypse says: Aug 28, 2012 4:39 PM

    See you back in DC for your Ring of Fame induction and broadcasting job. Best Redskin of the 21st century thus far! You will be missed.

  72. flankerright says: Aug 28, 2012 4:59 PM

    I hate to see Cooley go. But I really want to rip my radio out of my car on the drive home his after listening to 106.7 The Fan. People when will you start to realize that the NFL is like a business, there is little to no respect for employee well being, if there was instead of lay offs corporate america execs would take a pay cut, but that doesn’t happen. So to over emphasis the Redskins showed him no respect, people you better start realizing this is a cold world and respect is that last thing we get, especially in the DMV.

  73. everyfootballfan says: Aug 28, 2012 5:00 PM

    Redskin fans I feel your pain, Cooley was beloved in your town as Todd Heap was in baltimore we still miss him but move on when the Cardinal came to town Baltimore showed nothing but love for him, so whoever he plays for show him that same love, I came appreciate Cooley just like the love I have for Tood Heeeeeeeeeeeaaaaap

  74. firesnyder says: Aug 28, 2012 5:02 PM

    Cooley… you were an inspiration and something to look forward to on Sundays during a long and dark period of mediocrity. I wish you well in all your endeavors including that kooky pottery/art store you have in Leesburg, VA.

    I love you man!!!

  75. deshackle says: Aug 28, 2012 5:03 PM

    Mike Shanahan’s personnel moves have been commensurate with his win/loss record as head coach since taking over the Redskins. But, in this case, he has probably made the right call. Time will tell.

    There’s no loyalty in football, therein lies the appeal of the game.

  76. trollaikman8 says: Aug 28, 2012 5:22 PM

    You guys are high on bath salts if you think he’s on anyone’s radar.

    >Slow
    >Can’t block
    >Can’t FB
    >Can’t Special Teams
    >Frequent locker room distraction
    >Injury prone
    >Over 30

    Pick any 7

  77. magoopaintrock says: Aug 28, 2012 5:22 PM

    Chris was a true pro who always represented my hometown of Logan, Utah with class and he’s the only reason I ever cheered for the Redskins to win.

  78. wolfmagic2012 says: Aug 28, 2012 5:50 PM

    COOOOOOOOOOOLEY!!!!!!!

    Tip of the hat, a Big SHOUT OUT, and many thanks to a class act, and a Great Redskin, Chris Cooley. Yer days ain’t done bud, but ya better retire a Redskin!

    This NFL STAR has a lot of premium gas left in the tank folks. A contender should negotiate for his services ASAP!

  79. jspb22 says: Aug 28, 2012 6:36 PM

    To all you folks hoping he’ll be a backup on your team can forget it. If he can’t find a starting job outside the NFC East, he will re-sign with the Redskins.

  80. christopher525 says: Aug 28, 2012 6:49 PM

    If anyone wouldn’t want him on their team, they are a moron. We have Olsen in Carolina, and I would still take him. Oddly, I have a feeling New England will look into him. They would then have 3 great options at TE.

  81. warsal says: Aug 28, 2012 7:02 PM

    He’ll be picked up in no time.

  82. sidneyz says: Aug 28, 2012 7:20 PM

    The Raiders are thin at TE and Cooley could flourish there with Carson Palmer getting him the ball. That would be a great fit!

  83. h4rsh4 says: Aug 28, 2012 7:26 PM

    GOOD RIDDANCE!!!!!
    The guy who was talking smack about how bad romo and the boys are….. and how he loves to watch romo lose a few months ago, didn’t see this one coming…….I Hope the boys pick him up and dump him….LMFAO!!!

  84. marygratton18 says: Aug 28, 2012 7:55 PM

    If Redskis Nation could cut personnel Daniel Snyder would been told adios circa Albert Haynesworth. Chris Cooley is every bit the character man and player that London Fletcher is. So why does Chris go while London stays? I don’t get this. Chris is barely 30. Fletch is 37. RG 3 needs both of these fine men to have his back on and off the field as a rookie QB. And Stoner Fred Davis over Chris Cooley? Get Real! My dog has a better learning curve than Fred and most deffinitely better self-control.

    Chris is better now in his knees and deserves to prove that– he’s earned the chance. Yes the NFL is Huge business, but why does it always have to be cut throat vicious? Why is senseless unfairness good? How does it work over the long haul? That is what has been wrong with Snyder’s entire tenure and many other front offices across the league. It’s no wonder that no team is good for long.

  85. stevenray72 says: Aug 28, 2012 9:22 PM

    DC will miss Cooley! He was the one player since the 90′s that I wanted to retire as a Redskin. I wish him the best of luck!!

  86. ilovecameltoes says: Aug 28, 2012 9:23 PM

    Voiceofreason just dropped him off his fantasy team while at the tattoo shop getting a naked picture of RG Leaf tattooedon his chest..

  87. ronaldmexico7 says: Aug 28, 2012 9:48 PM

    To use his words “It’s so good” to see him pack his slow ass to cutsville. I hope the UFC is still hiring, because the Adult film industry certainly won’t be after that “Curse of the Irish” pic he put on his blog. Chris, it was hilarious to see you cry like a baby after you got cut…I loved it.

  88. magicbucs says: Aug 29, 2012 1:15 AM

    He won me a fantasy championship on a 4th qtr game winning TD back in 06/07 Thank you Chris Cooley!

  89. swagger52 says: Aug 29, 2012 2:24 AM

    The Jets should pick him up. Their scoring production would be multiplied 500%. Rex what is 0 multiplied by 5?

  90. meytonpanning says: Sep 1, 2012 12:07 AM

    Definitely a guy you want on your team, even if he doesn’t start (but he could).

    Personally I’d like to see him in Denver, because watching Jacob Tamme drop passes is straining my eyes. But that’s just me, he could play anywhere.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!