There are fistfuls of farewells at FedEx Field on Sunday when the Washington Redskins end yet another losing season.
One-time franchise cornerstones Albert Haynesworth and Clinton Portis won't even be there while Donovan McNabb is on the sideline against the New York Giants. Former top picks Carlos Rogers and Rocky McIntosh are likely gone. At least half the roster probably departs before next season, including nine starters.
But what about Chris Cooley?
The seventh-year tight end seems prime trade bait. If the Redskins truly want a quarterback high in the draft, they'll need to package something strong with their mid-first round pick. A Pro Bowl tight end in his prime is a deal-maker.
Will this truly be Cooley's farewell performance, too?
It would be a difficult trade for fans to accept. Even harder than swapping cornerback Champ Bailey for Clinton Portis in 2004. Bailey was a popular lockdown corner, much more rare than a running back. While Portis has become the Redskins' second career leading rusher, many Redskins fans would have preferred Bailey.
Cooley is even more popular than Bailey. Perhaps the team's most popular player since Darrell Green retired in 2003. Fans yodel his name every time he touches the ball. Cooley jerseys are as prominent in the stands as any current player.
But the price of raising this aging roster without second- and third-round picks next season is more than free agent spending. If the Redskins want one of the top college quarterbacks, they'll have to overpay in picks or players.
Brian Orapko, Trent Williams and LaRon Landry are untouchables. Cooley is the only other person opponents want. Oh, the Redskins have some good players but nothing other teams can't obtain through free agency.
The Redskins could trade Cooley given Fred Davis is a promising younger successor. Davis has just 19 receptions this season after 48 and six touchdowns last year when Cooley missed nine games. The numbers dropped due to the less playing time.
Cooley is better than Davis, especially blocking. That's why teams want the proven veteran over the prospect. Cooley's also in his peak years, turning 29 before next season.
Cooley's 72 catches are the second-most in his career, but the Redskins seem to lose him in the flow all too often, and especially over recent weeks. It's hard to say why because the numbers still show use but for some reason offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan isn't highlighting Cooley until they need a big play.
Whether the Redskins can couple Cooley with their first-rounder to move up for a quarterback is debatable. If not, Washington keeps the tight end and endures quarterback Rex Grossman for a year or two.
But no one's safe in the Redskins' locker room as the 2010 season ends. Not even Captain Chaos, their steadiest player since 2005.