It's rare to see any NFL player stay with one franchise throughout his whole career. Chris Cooley neatly pulled off the trick with the Washington Redskins, and now he's going to work for the organization again.
Mark Maske and Dan Steinberg of The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Cooley will retire from the NFL and join the Redskins' radio broadcasts as an analyst this season. An official announcement might come as soon as Tuesday.
A two-time Pro Bowl tight end, Cooley played nine seasons in Washington. He was cut before training camp last season but re-joined the team during the year. Cooley publicly said this offseason he was only interested in returning to the field if it was for the Redskins, but they saw him fitting into their broadcast team rather than their 53-man roster. Cooley won't replace legend Sam Huff in the broadcast booth, instead providing periodic analysis throughout the game.
Cooley was one of the most consistent receiving tight ends of his generation, gaining between 700 to 850 yards five times in six seasons. Knee surgeries caught up to him in his final seasons, but he was the most reliable offensive player on Redskins teams that struggled to move the ball. He also will be remembered fondly as one of the first NFL players to fully embrace the Internet, growing a loyal fanbase just by interacting and being himself.
Anyone who can grow an afro like this and tries to negotiate beer in his contract deserves our eternal respect.