Next year, Cooley could be a casualty of the cap


Rosenthal posted earlier today that Redskins tight end Chris Cooley believes he’s a casualty of the lockout, due to an inability to undergo knee surgery and rehab with team trainers in March instead of July.  Setting aside for present purposes that, as late as April, Cooley was playing flag football, the bigger question is whether, come 2012, he’ll be a casualty of the salary cap.

Chris Russell of ESPN 980, which is owned by Redskins owner Dan Snyder, recently reported that Cooley most likely won’t be back.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation (and contrary to at least one other explanation of Cooley’s contract), Cooley has a cap number of $6.23 million in 2012.  The team can avoid paying him a base salary of $3.8 million by cutting him ay any point before Week One of the regular season, and a $100,000 workout bonus by moving on before the offseason workout program commences.  (The Redskins will still have to carry his base salary on the book until cutting him.)  Cooley has a separate cap charge of $2.33 million from past bonuses paid by the Redskins, along with a bonus allocation of $1.83 million in 2013.

The CBA allows each team to cut at least two players before June 1 and to treat the move like a post-June 1 transaction, which for Cooley would result in a $2.3 million cap charge in 2012 and a charge of $1.83 million in 2013.  The Redskins alternatively could choose to absorb the full amount of the dead money in 2012, cutting Cooley before June 1 and taking a charge of $4.16 million.

Either way, the Redskins will carry the $2.3 million in 2012 regardless of whether Cooley is on the roster.  The question is whether the team is willing to pay him another $3.8 million (along with the $100,000 workout bonus), or whether that money will be used to re-sign Fred Davis, who has emerged as a younger, and possibly more effective, option.

Though Cooley says he’s confident he’ll be back with the Redskins next year, he may have to reduce his base salary by a million or two in order to make that happen.

23 responses to “Next year, Cooley could be a casualty of the cap

  1. these poor vets. these teams are going to be loaded with rookie contract guys and lower priced free agents peppered with the occasional superstar….CJ2K may be the last guy to truly screw a team (and of course Peyton Manning….the god of screw jobs)

  2. @andrejohnsonforpresident says:

    Because this is a post about Cooley, who probably should be prepared to move…He has not looked the same in a few years. I think he lost it the night he broke his ankle–with the white hair.

  3. If the ‘Skins want to keep him, they can re-work contracts to fit him under the cap. If they don’t want to pay him what he’s worth, they might say that they can’t afford him, but it will just be an excuse.

  4. The Redskins have plenty of cap-room this year. They would have no problem signing Davis to a huge contract right now. Not that Davis deserves one yet, his blocking still isn’t that consistant and he has too many drops.

    The new front offense has converted the uncapped year into one of the better cap positions in the league. It will improve again next year, as more and more Cerrato-era contracts fall off the books.

    Unless they go on a huge free agent spending spree they wont have to cut Cooley or even renegotiate his contract. They might want to, but they wont be forced to do it to hold on to Davis.

    Moreover, in his brief time this year he has just proved that he can cover the full-back position pretty well. Mike Shanahan (well just about every coach really) loves that sort of flexiblity. They are going to want to keep around. You don’t throw away someone who had 77-catches in 2010 because he is due 3.8-million.

    It’s a lot of money, to us, no so much to a franchise that has been used to swimming in dead money. Not so much for player who been our number 2 receiver for most of his career. Not so much for a receiver that can produce 70+ catches a season.

    If anything the Redskin player in most danger of being cut is DeAngelo Hall. He cannot cover, isn’t making the interceptions to compensate for that, is paid too much and cannot stop criticising the coaching staff. If I was betting on who goes first, Hall or Cooley, my bet is on 23.

  5. All of the non-Skins fans are so out of touch…Shanny already said he expects Cooley to be back next year 100% healthy and producing, need 2 good TE’s in the offense. Cooley doesn’t want to play anywhere else. Skins are well under the cap (for once), so they can afford 2 weapons at TE….HTTR

  6. andrejohnsonforpresident says:
    Oct 27, 2011 9:24 PM
    I don’t care about cooley. Why is no one talking about Foster only being paid 525k this year and being in the last year of his contract?

    If you don’t care, why did you read the article then comment on it?

  7. h8dabandwagoners says: Oct 28, 2011 7:47 AM

    All of the non-Skins fans are so out of touch

    All of the Skins fans are delusional to think that a guy with bum knees, no speed and a constant tool bag is worthy of a roster spot on a team that is getting younger and faster.

  8. He was never 100% healthy, Shanny admitted he should’ve started season on PUP list. Pro Bowler when healthy…whether he’s a “tool bag” off the field has nothing to do with his skills

  9. @ h8dabandwagoners

    Cooley used to be a beast, which is why as a Cowboys fan I obviously disliked him, he would shred Dallas. Now his act is just annoying. Fred Davis has clearly out played him and he deserves to be the go to guy. Keeping Cooley around because he is a “good guy” just doesn’t make sense. His off the field antics around the DC area are irritating to anyone who isn’t a Redskin fan (I agree its more irritating to me being a Cowboys fan). This guy goes on the radio and TV after a loss and acts like the game was never played. He is Jeremy Shockey Jr. Let him go and draft a younger, faster, more effective TE to back-up Davis.

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