Chris Cooley is a former professional football tight end. He was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the third round of the 2004 NFL draft. He played for the Redskins until 2012. During his first NFL season, Cooley led the team in touchdowns with six, while recording 37 receptions for 314 yards, catching three passes of more than twenty yards, and getting 23 first downs. He finished the season with an average of 8.5 yards per catch.
In September 2007, he signed a six-year, $30 million contract extension. On December 18, he was named to the 2007 Pro Bowl team. He set an NFL record by being the only tight end in league history to have six or more touchdowns in each of his first four seasons.
On October 26, 2009, he broke his ankle in a Monday Night Football matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. On November 30, 2009, he was placed on injured reserve. He had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee after the 2010 season.
He was unable to play any of the preseason games in 2011, and only played the first five games in the season before breaking a finger. He was placed on injured reserve on October 25, 2011, after his knee was examined and his doctor said it would take another four or five weeks before full recovery. He was released by the Redskins on August 28, 2012. On October 21, 2012, he agreed to re-sign with the Redskins.
On July 16, 2013, The Washington Post reported that Cooley was retiring from the NFL and that he would join the Washington Redskins’ radio broadcast team as an analyst. He hosted a morning drive-time sports show until 2018.
Cooley owned and operated an pottery gallery in Leesburg, Virginia, from 2010 to 2019. Born on July 11, 1982, in Powell, Wyoming, he returned to his roots in August 2020. He majored in art at Utah State University in Logan, Utah, where he lived from the age of ten. He was inducted into the Utah State University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017.
Cooley was raised as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.