When the Redskins released longtime tight end Chris Cooley on August 28, both the team and the player left the door open for a possible return.
Next week, the sides plan to discuss such a scenario, Coach Mike Shanahan confirmed Friday afternoon.
General Manager Bruce Allen first broached the subject during a speaking engagement at the National Press Club, saying, “Yes, absolutely that door is still open. We have a meeting next week.”
Asked to expand on Allen’s comments later, Shanahan said the team is weighing its options with regard to Cooley.
“Yeah, I’m not sure when that is,” Shanahan said of the meeting. “To be honest with you, I’ve been pretty busy this week getting ready for a game. [But] we’ve always left the door open for Chris.”
When Cooley gave his tear-filled goodbye 10 days ago in Ashburn, the Redskins said the move was made so that the loyal veteran of eight seasons could explore the possibility of starting for another team. The Redskins are committed to starting Fred Davis.
Cooley hired an agent, but as of Friday afternoon had not signed with another team.
“It gave him an opportunity to see if there’s anything where he’s got a chance to start,” Shanahan said. “That’s the main thing. He’s going to weigh his options. I’m sure he’s looking at his options with different teams right now. Who needs a tight end? What’s going to happen maybe after this week? Probably weigh all of his options, and we’ll look at our options as well. We have three tight ends, so it’s not like were very deep at the position. And with one fullback, it’s not very deep.”
The Redskins would have to move another player on the 53-man roster if they were to bring back Cooley, which at this point still seems like a long-shot. When Cooley was released, he counted $6.23 million against the Redskins’s salary cap. If he’s resigned, his salary would be more inline with an aging reserve player and it would not be guaranteed.
“There are a lot of possibilities,” Shanahan said. “I can’t tell you for sure what’s going to happen at this time. But we’d like to have as many options as possible. As you mentioned, we’ll get a chance to talk next week.”