It takes a special player for an organization to allow him to announce his official release from a team, but that's what the Washington Redskins did Tuesday with tight end Chris Cooley (the transcript provided by Washington Times writer Stepehn Whyno).
This will be brief. … The Washington Redskins are releasing me today. So today, for the time being, will be my last day as a Redskin.
"It's been awesome. I've been very, very fortunate to play for a franchise that has embraced me and for a fan base that has embraced me the way that they have. This organization has changed my life in every way for the better, and I appreciate it. I've loved every minute of playing here. It's been a good ride. It's been a pleasure.
Of course, the sentiment goes both ways (from the SB Nation blog Hogs' Haven):
I'm sure this is a sad day for many as Cooley has been many of ours favorite player over the past decade. Good luck to Chris wherever his career may take him.
Even though he never threw a touchdown to the nine-year veteran, rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III gave his thanks via Twitter.
He helped me get comfortable with this team & this offense. He is a legend in my mind and will be missed. Thank You Chris Cooley— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) August 28, 2012
Even Mike Shanahan got a little emotional, as CSN Washington recorded.
Yet, the best reaction probably came from Cooley's possible replacement, Niles Paul.
Took me in, treated me like his lil brother & was the one who truly helped me believe that I could play TE in this league. Sad day...— Niles Paul (@Niles_Paul84) August 28, 2012
But there's no better way to say goodbye, than to hear it from the player himself.
"I want to thank all you guys. Our media has been so, so good to me. So I appreciate everything. I'm sorry I'm a baby [choking up]. I appreciate everything you guys have done for me. And I guess, finally, say thank you to our fans. It's been great. Thank you."