Chris Cooley wants to be part of the Redskins for the rest of his life. So as he sifted this offseason through various offers to begin a career in media and the prospects of continuing his playing career, the opportunity to join the Redskins radio network stood out from the rest.
“This is the only job I considered,” Cooley said by phone Wednesday as he drove to Virginia from his Wyoming vacation. “What I wanted to do is be Sam Huff and Sonny Jurgensen and travel with the team for the next 50 years.”
The Redskins’ all-time leader in receptions by a tight end joined ESPN980, the team’s flagship station, as an analyst Tuesday. He’ll provide quarterly game analysis from the broadcast booth. Currently, Larry Michael handles play-by-play, Jurgensen is the color man and former Redskins tight end Doc Walker reports from the sideline.
Huff recently retired from his role providing color, and Jurgensen turns 79 next month, so it’s easy to see how Cooley’s role in the game broadcast might increase sooner rather than later.
ESPN980 also will feature Cooley, 31, on its Monday Morning Quarterback show. He will have an extensive role in its daily Redskins coverage.
Cooley wanted to continue playing for the Redskins. The coaching staff, however, has moved on from him. It would have taken a lucrative contract offer for Cooley to have continued his playing career elsewhere, he said. None materialized.
Several national media outlets approached Cooley with offers, he said, but he did not want to move from his Leesburg home nor change his lifestyle. Working for ESPN980 enables him to contribute to the station’s programming from its studio at Redskins Park in Ashburn.
Traveling with the team to road games attracted him, in particular, because he has so many friends in the organization.
“I just wanted to go to games and be a part of it,” he said.