The Washington Redskins—the team that saw Cooley establish himself as arguably the greatest pass-catching tight end in franchise history—didn't have room for him, but plenty of others certainly will.
Captain Chaos saw his 2011 season dismantled by knee injuries, but he is just one year removed from a 77-catch, 849-yard season. The knee is reportedly healthy, he has lost 20 pounds and some team will surely find a spot for the 30-year-old, who is far from the dreaded "hill."
But who should make it a priority to call for his services?
Kellen Davis, Matt Spaeth, Kyle Adams, Evan Rodriguez.
Davis has shown solid glimpses, but he's more of a red-zone target. Other than Davis in that particular role, there's no tight end on this team that Cooley couldn't unseat.
The Bears have done a nice job supplying Jay Cutler with weapons like Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery on the outside. Adding Chris Cooley as a check-down option would be the perfect final move for the passing attack.
Dustin Keller is coming off a career year, but when he went down with a hamstring injury last week, the lack of depth in New York's tight-end corps became painfully clear.
It appears Keller will be good to go for Week 1 (h/t ESPN New York), but Jeff Cumberland and Dedrick Epps just aren't really satisfying backup options.
Enter Cooley. He's versatile, reliable as a receiver and the perfect option to provide some extra relief for the inconsistent Mark Sanchez.
Tight ends are a quarterback's best friend. The offensive line still needs help, but adding Cooley could really help open this struggling offense.
Just kidding (kind of), but you know how much Bill Belichick likes his tight ends.
The Raiders' projected Week 1 starter at tight end is Brandon Myers, who had a whopping 16 catches last year for 151 yards and zero touchdowns.
After that, things—if they weren't already—get quite murky. Richard Gordon, who is listed as second on the depth chart, is a terrific blocker but has one career catch, for two yards. David Ausberry has two, for 14.
Oakland has some dangerous home-run threats, but Greg Knapp's offense can really benefit tight ends who are as talented as Cooley, who is already familiar with the offense.