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Redskins release Chris Cooley


The Redskins have released tight end Chris Cooley after eight seasons with the team.

Cooley announced the news via an emotional press conference conducted in the open air of the team’s practice field.

The two-time Pro Bowler said he has no issues with the move, and that he’ll take time to decide what to do next. “I have every belief that I can play football,” Cooley said. “I have every belief that I can be not only a productive player but a starter in this league. I’m very confident in my ability to continue to play the game. It would be a tough decision for me to put on another jersey. It’s something I’ve never really had to imagine.”

But the clues were there, with Fred Davis emerging as the No. 1 tight end, Niles Paul moving to the position from receiver, and Cooley ultimately sliding to fullback. Last year, Chris Russell of Daniel Snyder-owned ESPN 980 reported that Cooley most likely wouldn’t be back in 2012.

The Redskins avoid a $3.8 million base salary by cutting Cooley. He instantly becomes a free agent, and he can sign with any team.