And that night, he went to a youth football game in Leesburg, signing autographs, shaking hands and posing for photos, like this one. So a parent wrote to Wise, saying how great it was that Cooley still had his head held high, and was already hanging out in the community 24 hours after his release. Wise read the note to Cooley on the air last Friday.
“Yeah, I had a friend playing, I went out and watched a game,” Cooley said. (Audio below.) “The only part I’m having a hard time with right now is the pity party. It’s not my funeral. I’m not dying. I’m okay. It’s a business, and I’ve understood that it’s a business for a long time, and I’m able to separate that.
“Where I become emotional is when the people involved in my life through the business tell me what I meant to them. And they tell me how they felt about me, and stories that they shared with me, and times that we shared together. And that’s an important part of my life, and that’s something that I’m not losing. That’s what I think makes me more emotional.
“The separation of I’m not working for the Redskins right now is not an emotional setback for me,” Cooley continued. “I wanted to. I did. I don’t want to play for anyone else. I really don’t want to. This is where my loyalty was. But I understand what happens.”
Wise then pointed out that, if Cooley continues his career, he will likely have to get over that.
“You know what deal I want, I want the deal where the Packers were gonna give Brett Favre $2 million a year for 10 years not to play for anyone else,” Cooley joked. “That’s the deal I’ve got to talk to [agent David Dunn] about, tell him to call Dan and give me that money. It’s not salary cap money. I’ll just hang out on the sidelines. I’ll be the next Sonny Jurgensen around here.”
Hey, he isn’t the first one to suggest that. Someone put that man in a radio booth. It’ll work. Cooley also told Wise that he isn’t worried about a paycheck, isn’t in a hurry to find a new gig, and has no plans to move away from D.C. permanently.
“I think without a doubt this area’s become my home,” he said. “I have no intention of leaving it. I have no intention of going anywhere. I don’t want to go anywhere else. I think if I go play for someone else, you look at it a lot as a monetary issue. If someone has a starter get hurt six, seven weeks into the season, figure out the amount of time I have to work for whatever they’re gonna pay me. It makes it hard to say no.”
(Image via @Bac2Mac.)