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Niles Paul’s position switch could be bad news for Cooley


As mentioned in the Saturday one-liners, Redskins receiver Niles Paul has moved to tight end. Actually, Paul recently told LaVar Arrington and Chad Dukes of 106.7 The Fan in D.C. that the switch began last year, and that it has now become permanent.

So what does the decision to move the 2011 fifth-round pick mean to the other tight ends on the roster? Could soon-to-be-30-year-old Chris Cooley, who already has lost his position as the No. 1 tight end to Fred Davis, be in trouble of getting cut?

Paul avoided the question of whether he’s competing with Cooley for the No. 2 position on the depth chart.

“I honestly don’t know,” Paul said. “Right now I’m at the learning stage. . . . I’m a competitor, so I’m going to compete no matter what I do. So I’m just trying to find my way on the field any way I can.”

Cooley, who missed 11 games in 2011 due to injury, is due to earn a base salary of $3.8 million in 2012. In those five games, he generated a total of 65 receiving yards. (The previous season, Cooley tied a career high with 849 yards.)

There previously had been speculation that Cooley could be done in D.C. The shift of Paul to the position Cooley plays will do nothing to end that speculation; at a minimum, the team could be looking for a way to persuade Cooley to take less money in order to remain with the Redskins.