In a League of his Own: Elite TE Cooley Agrees to New Deal

CooleyIt’s not so often that a player nicknamed “Captain Chaos” would be seeking a long-term deal. TE Chris Cooley got just what he wanted Saturday, signing a six-year, $30 million contract extension with the Washington Redskins.

The contract includes $14 million in guaranteed money for the player whose colorful outfits and intensity are matched only by his consistency and ability as the Redskins’ best offensive weapon. Cooley caught 57 passes for 734 yards and six touchdowns last season and led all NFL tight ends in yards after the catch (7.35) and yards after contact (4.1).

“It feels so good,” Cooley said. “My biggest worry was that I just wanted to be here. I can play my whole career with the Redskins; that’s an unbelievable thing.”

A third-round draft pick from Utah State in 2004, Cooley, an ironman, has made 165 catches for 1,822 yards over three seasons, and has yet to miss a game.  He is the NFC’s best TE and is only going to get better, as the sky is the limit for this bruiser.  Also, Cooley is probably the most balanced and complete TE in the NFL.  For everytime he hauls in a pass with ease like a WR, he will block with such skill like a OL, then move on to man the FB/H-Back position, showcasing his versatility as a multi-threat on offense for Coach Gibbs.  He is as smooth as his name (Cool-Whip) and is one tough, old-fashioned football player, that will grind it out at 100%, giving you his ultimate best, play in and play out.  His rookie contract was going to run out at the end of this season. He and the Redskins have been discussing an extension for months without much “forward progress” – until Cooley aggressively asked for a new deal this week.

“I’m very happy that it’s not a worry once the season starts,” Cooley said. “Even last season, I thought about it a lot. You’re thinking about your whole future and your life. Now I can focus on playing football, making the Pro Bowl.”

Cooley’s production dropped last season as he and the rest of the offense adjusted to the schemes of new assistant coach Al Saunders, but Cooley is now ready and confident to put up the best numbers of his career. He looked more comfortable in training camp and has been more reliable than ever

Saunders, a former offensive coordinator with Kansas City, said he plans to use Cooley the same way he used Tony Gonzalez with the Chiefs.

“It’s great to get this done and get this out of the way,” coach Joe Gibbs said. “He’s earned it. He’s always been one of our hardest workers.”

Cooley took the shortcut route to get his contract talks completed. He said he started bringing the matter to assistant coaches earlier this week, and they sent the word along the stream, through the Redskins chain of command so to say, visibly flowing, as it went all the way up to owner Dan Snyder.

“I really tried to push it from my end to have it over with,” Cooley said. “The Redskins made it easy. I think it was understood that I had outplayed my rookie contract.”

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