The Washington Redskins have released tight end Chris Cooley after eight seasons.
Cooley, who played just five games because of knee and finger injuries last season, was allowed to announce his own release in a news conference Tuesday.
"The Washington Redskins are releasing me," said an emotional Cooley. "It's been awesome. 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 that they have. This organization has changed my life, in every way for the better. It's been a good ride, it's been a pleasure."
Cooley had just eight catches for 65 yards in his limited action last season after hauling in 77 passes for 849 yards and three touchdowns while playing all 16 games in 2010. He also missed nine games in 2009 with a fractured ankle.
"It would be a tough decision to put on another jersey," Cooley stated. "It's something that I've never really had to imagine."
The 30-year-old Utah State product was a two-time Pro Bowl selection during his tenure in Washington, but was not going to be a featured part of the offense in 2012. He had just one reception in three preseason games.
"I'll take some time and decide what I want to do moving forward," he added. "I have every belief that I can be not only a productive player, but a starter in this league. I'm very confident in my ability to continue to play the game."
Cooley caught 428 passes for 4,703 yards with 33 touchdowns in his eight seasons with Redskins.