The following is the text of the letter Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke sent to Joe Theismann, notifying him that he would be placed on waivers: July 25, 1986
For 12 years now, since Feb. 22, 1974, when you joined the Redskins from the Canadian Football League, you have performed admirably in every role.
Think of it:
1. Philadelphia Maxwell Club Bert Bell Award as NFL Player of the Year for the 1982 season.
2. NFL Most Valuable Player for the 1983 season.
3. Pro Bowl for both 1982 and 1983 seasons.
4. Most Valuable Player for the 1983 Pro Bowl.
5. NFL Miller Man of the Year award for the 1982 season for the entire league. (Award given to people who contribute generously of time and effort off the field to their communities.)
6. Hold eight Redskins club records.
7. Played in 163 consecutive games (third-longest stretch in Redskins history).
8. Above all, you've quarterbacked the Redskins to two Super Bowls.
On the field, you never let down. You were always up, up, up; undeniably cocky, gutsy and one of those rare guys whose reach exceeded his grasp, bringing the "heaven" he sought.
Now we come to the end of your playing marathon. What a marvelously productive run it has been. To Redskins fans, to the club and to me personally, your record bears proof of your sterling accomplishments. They'll be hard to beat, Joe.
Since your doctors tell me that your leg has not mended properly; that you should not play again, I have urged you to retire. In your usual few thousand words, you say no. By straining somewhat, I catch a glimmering of what you're driving at. But only a glimmering. You refuse to be dissuaded from the only alternative to retirement; namely, you insist on being put on waivers.
You've made your decision. You're pleased with it, you say, and I am, well, only sort of pleased. To me, retirement is the right route, but you've cast your die for this waiver. So, considering the enormously pleasant, profitable and winning career you, the Redskins and I have enjoyed together, I give in to your wish.
What more can I say? Other than that your waiver request will be completed in accordance with the National Football League's Constitution and Bylaws Article XVIII (entitled "Waivers"). At least the waiver is one of the friendliest ever reached between an owner and a player; and for all I know, perhaps the only friendly one on record.
Joe, may good health, good luck and all deserved success be yours. Joining me in expressing best wishes are: Bobby Beathard, who says:
"I'm satisfied that Super Bowl XVII and Super Bowl XVIII would not have been possible without you at the helm. We, all of us, thank you for these unique successes. Good luck, Joe."
Joe Gibbs adds:
"We will miss you greatly. You have always demonstrated a high quality of style and timing. You have proved your greatness on the playing field. We wish you luck in all your future endeavors."
Joining Bobby Beathard, Joe Gibbs and me in these sentiments are my son John and the entire Redskins organization.
Again, Joe, my warmest best wishes for the kind of success which will inevitably be yours in whatever field you choose.
Fond regards to you and Cathy Lee.
signed Jack Kent Cooke