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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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Redskins offseason questions: Can Kirk Cousins take the next step in 2017?

Redskins offseason questions: Can Kirk Cousins take the next step in 2017?

The good news for the 2016 Redskins was that they didn’t collapse after winning the division the previous season as has been their pattern in the past. The bad news was that they didn’t take the next step and improve from a franchise that can compete to make the playoffs into one that is playing multiple postseason games year in and year out.

That work begins right now for Jay Gruden, Scot McCloughan and the players. In the coming weeks, Redskins reporters Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will examine the biggest questions facing the Redskins as another offseason gets rolling.

RELATED: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice?

Will Kirk Cousins take the next step in 2017?

Finlay: The better question might be what constitutes the next step for Cousins? And going one step further, will it be with the Redskins? Answering the second part first, Cousins will be the 'Skins quarterback in 2017. Taking the next step is trickier, since the passer has thrown for more than 9,000 yards in the last two seasons.

For me, Cousins can still get much better, particularly in the red zone. If the Redskins scored at the same pace they pile up yards, this team would have won 11 games in 2016. 

In 2016, Cousins ranked 3rd in the NFL in passing yards, yet outside of the Top 10 in TDs with 25. To really enter the next phase of his career, Cousins needs to lead an offense that scores more, and that means 30+ touchdowns. He can do it. 

Tandler: I don’t look at the next step for Cousins being about numbers. Sure, maybe he can throw for 5,000 yards and 30-plus touchdowns on year. But being a top quarterback is more than that.

I want to see him go into Seattle next year and rally the Redskins from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter. I want to see him go into a playoff game and, unlike what happened against the Packers after the 2015 season, will the team to a win when the Redskins aren’t playing their best and when a QB like Aaron Rodgers is on the other side. I want to see him glare at a lineman who missed an assignment and correct a receiver who went the wrong way on a route.

To be sure, he has led the team to some comeback wins and he has played very well in some key games, like the division-clinching win in Philadelphia in 2015. But a top-flight quarterback can’t essentially negate one of those with a play like the season-ending pick against the Giants. Sure, any quarterback is going to have an off day. But you have to have more pluses than minuses on the ledger.

Cousins has been a starter for just two years so maybe he can develop into a top-shelf quarterback. Putting up good stats is part of the picture but he won’t be there until he elevates and motivates those around him. Maybe he can take that next step but until he does there is no way of knowing if he will. 

More offseason questions: 

What are reasonable expectations for Josh Doctson?

— Will there be a surprise salary cap cut?

— Should the Redskins defense switch to the 4-3?

— Is Spencer Long the answer at center?

— How many D-linemen do the Redskins need?

— Should the Redskins draft another QB? 

— With Sean McVay gone, will the Redskins run the ball more?

— Can Cravens handle the transition to safety? 

— Will the Redskins re-sign Pierre Garçon? 

— Will Rob Kelley be the lead running back in 2017?

— Defense in the first round?

— Will they make a change at left guard?

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTuneshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Some good news from Redskins Park: Josh Doctson running, catching football (VIDEO)

Some good news from Redskins Park: Josh Doctson running, catching football (VIDEO)

There hasn't been much good news out of Redskins Park lately, as the team deals with pending free agency for QB Kirk Cousins and others combined with rumors of infighting among the front office. So video of 2016 first round pick Josh Doctson running and cutting comes at a great time for beleaguered 'Skins fans. 

Doctson posted the video to his Snapchat account. When he last spoke after the Washington season ended, Doctson made clear he was feeling much better and that '100 percent health' is his main goal this offseason.

His rookie year, however, was a different matter.

The receiver out of TCU missed all but the first two games of the year. Even in those games, he played a very reduced role. Drafted 22nd overall, he had just two catches all year as an obscure Achilles' injuries landed him on the injured reserve. His plight could not be figured out by a slew of doctors and specialists, and the team finally decided to sit down their prized rookie.

A breakout year in 2017 would serve Jay Gruden's squad well, as the team stands to lose DeSean Jackson and/or Pierre Garçon to free agency. It looks likely the 'Skins will lose at least one of their starting WRs, and losing both is a distinct possibility. That could result in more than 2,000 receiving yards leaving the Redskins offense, and the team will need Doctson to pick up a good chunk of that production.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!