First Google Reader, Now Chris Cooley?

The popular tight end’s career with the Redskins could be in jeopardy.

By: Jack Kogod

Chris Cooley's season is done. Does that mean his career with the Redskins is over? Photograph by Brian Murphy

Chris Cooley’s season is over, and his future in Washington is up in the air after he was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday. All of this in the same week that we lose Santana Moss, Tim Hightower, and shared items in Google Reader.

A fan favorite since being drafted in 2004, Cooley has endeared himself to the Redskins faithful with both his standout play and his interactions with the public. He even took the time to surprise the hell out of one blogger at his rehearsal dinner.

No one is entirely certain what the future holds for Cooley. Here are four of the most likely scenarios I could come up with.

Scenario One
The Redskins decide to release Cooley because the NFL is a cold, unfeeling place where guaranteed contracts only exist in the fevered nightmares of billionaire owners. Cooley finds himself testing the frigid waters of free agency as a 30-year-old tight end, with Dr. James Andrews on speed dial. That doesn’t mean nobody will sign him. After all, he’s still a damn fine football player who can help a team’s offense. He could find himself on a young team in need of a veteran pass catcher, or he could go to the Cowboys in a subversive attempt to destroy them from within.

Scenario Two
The Redskins bring Cooley back for the full $3.8 million, because that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to a $70 million yacht. If they want to recoup the money, they can always change his number and bask in the jersey sales.

Scenario Three
Player and team agree to a restructured contract extension that allows Cooley to finish his career in Washington where he belongs. It’s an ideal solution that would make lots of fans very happy. Of course, if things always worked out like this, Art Monk would have never been a Jet—or worse yet, an Eagle. We can’t have that again.

Scenario Four
Cooley says, “To hell with it all,” and goes out on his own terms. He opens a bar called Cooley’s staffed entirely by Redskins cheerleaders. Everyone loves it, even though it’s located all the way in Leesburg. But don’t worry about that; he’s already planning new locations in Bethesda, Rockville, McLean, Old Town, and Chinatown.

Regardless of what happens, Cooley will always be a Redskin.