In his senior season at Utah State in 2003, Cooley led the NCAA in receptions by a tight end. The following year, the Redskins made him the 81st pick of the NFL draft In the first half of his rookie season, Cooley caught only 10 passes. He broke out in Week 12 at Pittsburgh, catching seven balls, one for a touchdown.
2 of 8Simon Bruty/SI
Cooley has had many colorful nicknames bestowed upon him, such as "Johnny White Guy," by Clinton Portis in a 2004 press conference. Before one game against St. Louis, Cooley introduced himself at the coin toss as "Captain Chaos." In his second season in 2005, Cooley broke the Redskins' record for receptions by a tight end (71). That year, he became a bona fide receiving threat, with the highlight of his season coming in a three-touchdown performance against the rival Cowboys.
3 of 8Handout
After meeting her two summers before, Cooley married former Redskins cheerleader Christy Oglevee in August 2007. And before the 2007 season, the Redskins rewarded their emerging tight end with a six-year, $30 million contract that included $14 million in guarantees.
4 of 8Simon Bruty/SI
Cooley's most productive year came in 2007, when he caught 66 passes for 786 yards and eight touchdowns. He was an integral part of Washington's late-season, four-game win streak to make the playoffs, catching 13 passes in those games.
5 of 8David Drapkin/Getty Images
Cooley is a two-time Pro Bowl tight end, participating on the 2007 and 2008 teams. In 2008, he was one of three Redskins in the game to wear No. 21 in honor of the late Sean Taylor. He also caught a touchdown pass from Matt Hasselbeck in the game.
6 of 8John McDonnell/The Washington Post/Getty Images
Cooley's 2009 season was cut short when he suffered a broken ankle in a Week 7 Monday night contest against the Eagles. He was placed on injured reserve in November and missed the remainder of the season. It was the first time in his six-year career that he hadn't played in all 16 of his team's contests.
7 of 8Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
One of the more active athletes on the social media scene, Cooley frequently updates his Twitter account and his blog, "The Cooley Zone." An art education major at Utah State, Cooley has pursued interests outside of football such as pottery. He also is an executive producer and has a role in the upcoming film Ghosts Don't Exist .
8 of 8John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images; SportsAge/Icon SMI
In 2010, Cooley will be working in a revamped offense built around new quarterback Donovan McNabb. McNabb made the tight end position an essential one throughout his career in Philadelphia. Nearly 30 percent of his touchdown passes go to tight ends. With 343 receptions in his six NFL seasons, Cooley needs just 78 catches to pass Jerry Smith as the Redskins' all-time leader for receptions by a tight end.
You May Like
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Don't get stuck on the sidelines! Sign up to get exclusives, daily highlights, analysis and more—delivered right to your inbox!