Chris Cooley once was the do-it-all threat teams are now scrambling to find at the tight end position. The 31-year-old, who spent his entire nine-year career with Washington, reportedly will announce his retirement Tuesday and join the Redskins' radio broadcast team.
During a stretch from 2005-08, Cooley proved himself to be one of the more versatile players in football. He averaged just under 70 catches during that span, with Pro Bowl appearances in 2008 and '09.
Recurring knee problems starting in 2009 sapped Cooley's career of any remaining momentum. He played the full 2010 season with the Redskins, catching 77 passes for 849 yards (matching his career-high). He missed nine games, however, in that 2009 season and another 11 two years later. The Redskins brought him back last year after Fred Davis suffered a knee injury of his own, but Cooley managed only one reception.
The transition to a broadcaster's role should be a natural one for Cooley, long a fan favorite in Washington. It's not hard to see why, either. Last year, for example, as part of his negotiations to return to the Redskins, Cooley told the Washington Post that he asked for a supply of beer to be included in his contract.
“Literally, I have text correspondence trying to negotiate a case of beer into my contract," he told Sarah Kogod. "They wouldn’t do it. I wanted it in writing so much."
It would not come as much of a surprise, then, if Cooley eventually landed on air with one of the NFL's major TV entities, be it FOX, CBS, the NFL Network or ESPN.
Cooley said back in April that he did not want to play for any organization other than the Redskins. Finding another franchise to give him a shot might have been difficult, given his knee ailments, but his background playing some H-back for the Redskins might have put him on a few radars come training camp.
Instead, he'll call it a career and hit the airwaves. GALLERY: Biggest retirements across sports in 2013