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Report: Redskins expected to sign TE Chris Cooley

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Report: Redskins expected to sign TE Chris Cooley

With the news that Fred Davis is out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon, fans immediately started to ask about a possible return of Chris Cooley.

It now seems like that possibility could become a reality. NFL Insider, Jason La Canfora tweeted that the Redskins are in discussion to re-sign tight end Chris Cooley, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, and a deal is expected shortly.

A short time later, Dan Hellie anchor for NBC4 in Washington, tweeted, "Just talked to Cooley...contract being ironed out. He will rejoin the team tomorrow and The Cooley Report will continue on Mondays on NBC4."

Cooley, 30, spent eight seasons with the Redskins before the released him in late August. He left as the all-time franchise leader in career receptions with 428.

For his first five and a half years in the NFL, Cooley was as durable as they came, never even missing so much as a practice. After playing in 87 straight games, however, he suffered a broken foot and missed the last nine games of the 2009 season. Then, after playing all 16 games in 2010, Cooley missed the last 11 games of 2011 with a broken hand and a knee problem that just wouldn’t go away.

Durability is one of the reasons the Redskins may not choose to call Cooley. There also was concern that he may have lost too much speed to be effective on offense.

But a Cooley return would be a popular move with the rest of the team. Tight end Logan Paulsen, who seemed to gain the most snaps with Davis out said that he would love for Cooley to return. “He’s a great teammate, he knows the system,” said Paulsen.

Knowing the system is another factor that might work in Cooley’s favor. There are just nine games left in the season and the faster a replacement can get up to speed the better.

It appears that Cooley would be open to returning to the Redskins. “I want to play here, but I don’t know if anything will happen with that,” he told the Washington Post last month.

He lives in Leesburg and he said that, although he has had some offers to sign with other teams, he really wasn’t interesting in moving.

He also told the Post that he was not interested in playing for the minimum NFL salary, which would be $835,000 for an eight-year veteran, pro-rated for the remainder of the season. It was not clear if he would make an exception to that to play for the Redskins, who are tight against the salary cap.

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OPEN THREAD: After Galette injury, should Redskins switch Trent Murphy back to LB?

OPEN THREAD: After Galette injury, should Redskins switch Trent Murphy back to LB?

This offseason Trent Murphy bulked up to switch from outside linebacker to 3-4 defensive end. The third-year pro out of Stanford added close to 30 lbs. of muscle onto his frame to take on the more consistent blocking of offensive linemen, but the move was largely predicated on the Redskins deploying Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith and Junior Galette from the outside linebacker spots.

Well, that plan has changed.

Galette will miss the 2016 season with a torn Achilles, and now the Redskins edge rushing linebacker group has gone from team strength to thin on the depth chart. A natural question then would be can Murphy shift back to the outside linebacker spot he played his first two years in the league?

"I have no idea," Ryan Kerrigan said about the move. "Who knows if that would be a possibility."

RELATED: KERRIGAN CALLS GALETTE INJURY 'SHOCKING'

In two seasons with Washington, Murphy's numbers have been pedestrian, especially considering his second round draft status in 2014. As a rookie he notched 2.5 sacks in just eight starts and forced two fumbles. Last year, his sack total increased to 3.5 in 15 starts. 

Murphy may be best suited as a 3-4 defensive end, especially with the added weight, as a run-stuffing defender. Strength has never been the issue for Murphy, where as lack of edge speed became apparent against NFL tackles. 

"He’s carrying it pretty well," Kerrigan said of Murphy's added bulk. "He definitely looks bigger and stronger."

This situation is unique: playing defensive end might be the best position for Murphy, but with the Galette injury, the 'Skins might need more capable if not spectacular outside linebackers. 

What should the Redskins do with Murphy - leave him at DE or move him back to OLB? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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On eve of Redskins training camp, Kerrigan describes Galette injury 'shocking' and 'heartbreaking'

On eve of Redskins training camp, Kerrigan describes Galette injury 'shocking' and 'heartbreaking'

Just like fans were excited to see Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith and Junior Galette team up for the Redskins to rush opposing quarterbacks this fall, the players were excited too. When news broke that Galette would miss all of the 2016 season with a torn Achilles, fans were stunned. Turns out, the players were too.

"It definitely was shocking," Kerrigan said. "I wasn’t expecting to hear it, especially at the timing of it."

Not that there is ever a good time for a serious injury, but Galette missed all of 2015 with a torn Achilles. For more than a year, Galette posted to social media about his recovery and his excitement to get back on the field. At various Redskins training sessions this offseason, Galette could be seen working out, and he always talked about how fired up he was to get back on the field.

MORE REDSKINS: IS GREG HARDY AN OPTION? SHOULD HE BE?

Now, for the second straight year, that won't happen.

"It's just hard because we’ve seen him put in the work to get healthy," Kerrigan said of Galette. "It’s heartbreaking for him, it's heartbreaking for us."

Kerrigan, speaking at a Good Humor event in downtown Washington on Tuesday, explained that he didn't even believe the Galette injury when he first heard it. He said a friend texted him with the news, and Kerrigan thought it was a joke, until he looked around online and saw all of the reports. 

Now without Galette, the 'Skins still report to training camp on Wednesday, and the defense will need to adjust. 

"Collectively, across the front, we gotta take it upon ourselves," Kerrigan said. "We got to be even more productive."

Washington ranked in the middle of the NFL with 38 sacks in 2015. Even without Galette, that number could improve as the defense should be better on the back end with the addition of Josh Norman and Kendall Fuller. Galette's loss will impact the defense's depth, as the talent drop off behind Smith and Kerrigan will be severe. 

"We do have Houston Bates who has some game experience from last year," Kerrigan said. "We all gotta collectively step it up."

As for Galette, Kerrigan said he texted his injured teammate, sending him well wishes as he deals with a second straight season ending injury.

"You wish him emotional strength."

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Ranking the Redskins Part 5 (53-6): Filling the hole left by Galette's injury

Ranking the Redskins Part 5 (53-6): Filling the hole left by Galette's injury

At CSNmidatlantic.com we projected the Redskins’ 53-man roster (offense, defense) right after minicamp. Now we are taking it one step further and ranking the 53 players we think will make the team.

The rankings are determined by who we think will have the most impact on the 2016 Redskins. No consideration was given for past performance or for what a particular player might do down the road. We’ll be revealing the rankings over the next few weeks.

<<<CLICK HERE FOR THE NEWEST RANKS>>>

Today we’re updating the list with the players we ranked from 6-10. Here are some of the players in our latest update:

—A second-year receiver who is expected to top a record-setting 2015 performance.    

—Two players who will have to produce to make up for a major injury loss. 

—A defender who will be in the spotlight after the addition of a free agent at his position. 

Go here to see our ranking of the 2016 Redskins, players 6-53.

<<<CLICK HERE FOR THE NEWEST RANKS>>>