Thirty-three months removed from his last NFL reception, Chris Cooley wants back in. The former Redskin hasn’t been shy about it either, frequently discussing a comeback bid on his radio show.
The full-court press didn’t work. Redskins brass couldn’t be convinced. Last week’s acquisition of Derek Carrier all but slammed the door on Cooley’s playing days.
Or at least his playing days in Washington.
“I’m fine with the fact that it didn’t [happen here],” Cooley said Thursday. “It's not something I’m going to give up though. Just based on the fact that I want to do it, I believe I can do it and I’m going to regret it if I don’t try.”
This isn’t the first time the former All-Pro has flirted with un-retiring. But when the itch surfaced before, the thought of being released by another organization - or worse yet - not living up to his own standards, kept Cooley away.
“It’s over if it’s not this year,” he now acknowledges. “I don’t care how it ends as long as I try. It’s not going to hurt my pride, it’s not going to hurt me long term. It’s not going to hurt my psyche to have it not work.”
“It’s actually going to help me, I can step away and know it’s time to step away,” Cooley continues. “I don’t know that right now and I have to find that out for myself.”
If Cooley - who says he's been working out since January - is to return, there’s only so many places that make sense. A rebuilding franchise would have little use for any aging vet who won’t be around beyond this season, but a team in 'win-now' mode - and thin at tight end - might. Cooley has been linked to the Arizona Cardinals, but he says other teams are interested as well.
“I’d be lying if I said it would mean the same to go somewhere else - it wouldn’t,” Cooley admits when faced with the prospect of playing for a team other than Washington. “My goal is to run out of the tunnel at the Super Bowl in a Redskins uniform - that would be incredible."