NFC East: Redskins cut Cooley, sign Cundiff
Tarik El-Bashir and Rich TandlerCSNWashington.com
ASHBURN, Va. -- The Redskins released veteran Chris Cooley on Tuesday, cutting ties with the team’s longest tenured player and one of the most popular figures in the franchise’s history.
“It’s been awesome,” Cooley said during an impromptu news conference at Redskins Park. “I’ve been very, very fortunate to play for a franchise that has embraced me, and a fan base that has embraced me the way they have. This organization has changed my life, in every way, for the better. I have loved every minute of playing here.”
Cooley, 30, had been attempting to return from an injury-shortened 2011 campaign in which he appeared in only five games and amassed career lows in receptions (8) and yards (65). Although he said last month that he felt as good as he had in years, the tight end was informed by coach Mike Shanahan this week that Fred Davis would be the starter.
“If he wanted to be a starter, I [told Cooley] I would give him the option to seek that opportunity out,” Shanahan said. “And that’s what we’re doing at this time, giving him a chance to see if there is a chance to be a starter on another team in the National Football League.”
Washington also released kicker Graham Gano and signed Billy Cundiff.
The 32-year-old Cundiff also has kicked for the Cowboys, Saints, and Browns and is among the NFL's best on kickoffs, racking up an NFL record 44 touchbacks last season.
With Baltimore last year he was good on 28 of 37 field goals (75.7 percent). He was 7 for 9 from 40-49 but only 1 for 6 from 50 or more yards out.
Cundiff's final kick, however, was his worst. He had a 32-yard attempt to send the AFC championship game against the Patriots into overtime but he missed the kick as time expired.
In 2010, though, Cundiff was tapped for the Pro Bowl after making 89.7-percent of his field goal attempts (26 of 29). For more on the Redskins, visit CSNWashington.com.