Washington Redskins tight end Chris Cooley, an unrestricted free agent, has received interest from other NFL teams—despite his assertion last summer he would not play for another team other than the Redskins following his release from the team in August 2012.
General manager Bruce Allen, according to the Washington Times, told reporters gathered in Phoenix for the NFL owner's meeting that Cooley, the Redskins all-time leading receiver at tight end and nine-year veteran, had received some calls from unnamed teams and his future with the Redskins "is on hold."
“I spoke to his agent here, and there’s some interest in Chris,” Allen told the Washington Times. “He might decide to play for another team. I’m not saying he wants to—believe me—but he will always be a Redskin. There’s no about it.”
Cooley was released by the Redskins prior to the start of the 2012 NFL regular season and harbored no resentments or blame on his release. He was scheduled to make nearly $4 million and the team faced the first year of an NFL-imposed salary cap penalty.
In his tearful press conference following his release last August, Cooley did not express any immediate plans and was visibly shaken by the news, even apologizing for his inability to fight back tears and sniffles.
"I'm sorry. I'm a baby. I appreciate everything you guys have done for me," he told reporters. "I guess, finally, I just want to say thank you to our fans."
When starting tight end Fred Davis went down with a torn left Achilles' tendon in Week 7 last season, the Redskins called Cooley and he immediately returned to the team. In the half-season he played with the team in 2012, he accounted for one catch but was a key blocker.
The 'Skins re-signed Cooley for the league minimum salary for a nine-year veteran—$825,000.
He remains the all-time leading tight end in receptions for the Redskins with 429 catches for 4,711 yards.
Redskins GM Bruce Allen ended his comments regarding Cooley Tuesday by telling reporters, "We're going to see how everything plays out a little bit."
There has been no comment from Cooley or his agent.