Redskins Release Chris Cooley

The Redskins have released tight end Chris Cooley, ending the popular player's eight-year tenure in Washington.

"The Washington Redskins are releasing me today, so today, for the time being, will be my last day as a Redskin," he said Tuesday during an impromptu press conference at Redskins Park.

Cooley, who was the longest-tenured current Redskin before his release, appeared in 108 career games for Washington from 2004-11, starting 101 of them and quickly becoming one of the faces of the franchise. He earned two Pro Bowl nomination wth the Redskins in 2007 and 2008 and leaves as the franchise's leader in receptions by a tight end with 428.

According to head coach Mike Shanahan, Cooley, who is coming off an injury-shortened season in which he only appeared in five games, wanted a chance to reclaim his starting position. Yet, with Fred Davis earning his place on top of the tight end depth chart, that opportunity would not present itself in Washington.

"I’ve been very, very fortunate to play for a franchise that has embraced me and for a fan base that has embraced me the way that they have," Cooley said. "This organization has changed my life."

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