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The Redskins save $3.8 million against the 2012 salary cap by releasing Cooley, but Shanahan insisted money was not a factor in the decision. He said the Redskins never approached Cooley about restructuring his contract, which had two years remaining.

So for now, Cooley can look for a job ahead of Friday’s final league-wide roster cuts, while the door in Ashburn stays cracked open behind him.

“There’s a lot of scenarios that could happen here in the next week,” Shanahan said.

Said Cooley: “I have every belief that I can be not only a productive player, but a starter in this league. It would be a tough decision for me to put on another jersey. It’s something that I’ve really never had to imagine. For now, I’ll take some time and make sure what I do in the future is exactly what I want to do.”