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Baltimore Ravens: Why the Team Should Not Sign Chris Cooley

CANTON, OH - AUGUST 3: Tight end Chris Cooley #47 of the Washington Redskins grabs a pass against the Indianapolis Colts in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game at Fawcett Stadium on August 3, 2008 in Canton, Ohio.   (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Kyle CaseyCorrespondent IIIAugust 28, 2012

On Tuesday, the Washington Redskins released veteran tight end Chris Cooley.

The move wasn't surprising, as Cooley played in just five games in 2011 and lost his starting job to Fred Davis. However, Cooley appears to be back to full health and could still contribute to an NFL team this season. 

But, that team won't be the Baltimore Ravens.

The Ravens are currently set at starting tight end, with Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta sharing that role. That leaves the third tight end job as a possibility for Cooley, but instead, the Ravens should stay put with their current third tight end, Billy Bajema.

Bajema, who spent the last three seasons with the St. Louis Rams, is an experienced tight end who has been impressive in the team's three preseason games. He has five catches for 38 yards and a touchdown in the preseason, and appears to have already built a rapport with quarterback Joe Flacco, as seen in his three-catch performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

He isn't a big-name tight end like Cooley, but Bajema is good enough to be the team's third tight end. Having been in camp this whole time, Bajema is already acclimated with the team's offense, something that would take Cooley a few weeks to get used to.

With the regular season opener less than two weeks away, there's not enough time to get Cooley familiar enough with the team's offense to contribute in Week 1.

Additionally, Cooley simply isn't as good as he used to be. In three preseason games with the Redskins this season, Cooley caught just one pass for four yards, showing that he is clearly on the decline.

While it would be intriguing to add a former Pro Bowl tight end to the team in Cooley, it doesn't make much sense for the Ravens, who are set at the tight end position.

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