Inching closer and closer to the start of the regular season, teams are going to trim their rosters down to needed 53 before their first game. Lots of big names will be released before the 6 p.m. on Friday.
One of those big names is Chris Cooley, who was released by the Washington Redskins earlier this week. Over eight season’s in the national capital, Cooley had 428 catches for 4,703 yards and 33 touchdowns.
During two of the last three seasons, the 30-year-old has battled injuries, which is shocking considering he didn’t miss a single game in his first five seasons. Two years ago, Cooley played in only seven games and he only appeared in five contests in 2011. His recent stretch of injuries and Fred Davis are probably the two reasons why Washington released Cooley.
Immediately after Cooley was given his pink slip, the speculation began on where the future tight end. Yesterday, NFL.com writer Gregg Rosenthal mentioned six teams as possible destinations for Cooley, which included the Cardinals.
The Cardinals aren’t afraid to give guys second chances. Jeff King and Todd Heap are atop their depth chart. Cooley is a better version of the same idea.
Right now, Heap and King are #1 and #2 respectively on the depth chart. Behind them is Rob Housler, a talented second-year player, but a guy who has had problems with drops and nagging injuries. There is also Jim Dray, an excellent blocking tight end, but isn’t much of a threat catching the football.
If the Cardinals do decide to keep four tight ends and look to add Cooley, Dray would more than likely be the odd man out. Despite his struggles, the coaching staff is still high on Housler and it seems unlikely they would be willing to give up on him after just one season.
Only problem with signing Cooley would be on special teams. Not only is Dray a very good blocker, but he is also excellent on special teams. Cooley would probably be strictly used as a pass catcher on offense, which could cause some depth issues on special teams.
Adding Cooley would give the Cardinals another weapon on offense and another quality guy in the locker room, but with the current guys already on the roster and lots of holes at other positions, look for the Red Birds to pass on Cooley.