Whenever a team releases a productive player --the Washington Redskins and Chris Cooley in this case-- you always find yourself hypothetically plugging that player into your team's roster and seeing what it might look like, if it's possible, and if they should actually consider doing it. Usually the answer ends up being no in one form or another --too much money, happy with who you have, etc. -- but I think the Chicago Bears should look long and hard and consider bringing in the veteran tight end should he come with an appropriate price tag.
For one of the first times in Bears' history, this wouldn't be a scramble to find a direly-needed offensive weapon. It's a situation that the Bears would be able to approach very casually and if, for whatever reason, it didn't work out they could move on without batting an eye. The Bears currently have Kellen Davis entrenched as their starting tight end and claim to really like what he brings to the table, but I'd still say Cooley would be an upgrade --at least on the receiving end.
Cooley has had repeated knee surgeries which makes him a higher risk signing. However, if the Bears could get him at the right price, then why not take the risk? The Bears already have Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Earl Bennett, Devin Hester, Matt Forte, and Michael Bush. Adding Cooley to that batch of players, even as a counterpart to Davis, looks mighty nice. In a division that sports the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions' respective offensive powerhouses, as far as I'm concerned, you can't have too many weapons.
The Bears need blocking protection. We still don't fully know how this offensive line is going to perform but I'm sure the Bears will be looking for Davis to do his share of blocking. Cooley is more of a receiving tight end. That fact is the only place where I might see a disconnect in him being a fit with the Bears. However, plenty of teams successfully run with two tight ends on a consistent basis. I think it's worth a try.
The determining factor is how much money Cooley will ultimately want. If the Bears can get him at a good price, I'd say keep loading the cannons.
Brian is a lifelong Chicago Bears fan, having lived in Illinois his entire life and having followed the NFL throughout.
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- Chris Cooley
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- Kellen Davis