NFL news roundup: Chris Cooley retires, Raiders need money for new stadium

Chris McGrath

Cooley will continue his career from the broadcast booth and the Raiders are having trouble finding money for their relatively modest stadium proposal. Those stories, plus updates on DeMarcus Ware, Geno Atkins and Randall Cobb.

Chris Cooley announced his retirement from the NFL on Tuesday. The former Washington Redskins tight end is considered one of the most popular players in franchise history, which should make his transition to the broadcast booth exceptionally smooth.

Cooley finished his career with 429 receptions for 4,711 yards and 33 receiving touchdowns. He was a free agent last season before re-signing with the with Redskins midseason in 2012 after Fred Davis' season ended on injured reserve. He finished the year with one reception for 9 yards. More notably, he tried (and failed) to have a regular shipment of beer stipulated in his contract.

Raiders want new stadium, can't afford it

The Oakland Raiders reportedly have plans for a new stadium. Unfortunately, they may not have enough money to build it. The Oakland Tribune reports that even after a $300 million commitment from the organization and a $200 million loan from the NFL, the proposed 50,000-seat stadium would be $300 million short of it's necessary funds. For the Raiders, getting public funding from Alameda County and the City of Oakland apparently isn't easy.

The Raiders' current lease with O.co Coliseum will end after the 2013 season, and owner Mark Davis does not want to commit to another year in the same spot until he has plans firmly in place for a new stadium. He may have a tough time getting any public commitment, however, despite the fact that the team's proposal is relatively cheap compared to the latest football cathedrals around the league.

The Raiders' proposal would give them the smallest stadium in the NFL by a wide margin. The smallest stadium in the NFL currently is Chicago's Soldier Field, which holds 61,500 fans.

DeMarcus Ware will be ready for training camp

DeMarcus Ware is expected to be ready to practice when the Dallas Cowboys open training camp this week. Ware underwent shoulder surgery in January and has not had any setbacks in his recovery, although he was held of OTAs and minicamp. He is feeling good now, though he isn't yet quite 100 percent. Per ESPN Dallas:

"I feel like my shoulder is about 94 percent, if you want to put it that way," Ware said, referring to his uniform number. "If we had to play a game tomorrow, I'd be ready to play."

Ware has yet to miss a game in his eight-year career. He has recorded at least 11 sacks in seven straight seasons. That streak may be threatened in 2013, due to his advancing age and a potentially tough transition to a 4-3 defense.

Bengals hashing out extension for Geno Atkins

Geno Atkins still has a year left on his rookie contract, but the Cincinnati Bengals want to get the talented defensive tackle wrapped up with a long-term contract as soon as possible, preferably before the start of the 2013 regular season. Atkins is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next March.

Atkins was arguably one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL last season, notching 12.5 sacks and four forced fumbles. At just 25 years old, Atkins' best years should be ahead of him as long as he stays healthy, so it's not surprising at all that the Bengals are being proactive.

Travelle Wharton could start training camp on PUP list

The Bengals may be without projected starting left guard Travelle Wharton when training camp open. Wharton is still recovering from the torn ACL he suffered during Week 1 of the 2012 preseason roughly 11 months ago.

Wharton was a prized addition to the team during the 2012 offseason, after spending eight solid years with the Carolina Panthers. He has yet to see the field for the Bengals, however, though the organization thinks highly of him. There was chatter that Wharton could start at right tackle this season before the Bengals re-signed Andre Smith.

Randall Cobb working to be a better outside threat

Randall Cobb has established himself as one of the premiere slot receivers and return men in the NFL. He wants everyone to know that he can do much more as a wide receiver, however, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

"I don't want to work on just being a slot receiver," Cobb said. "I want to be a receiver, period. I want to be able to go outside, too. So one thing I've worked on this offseason, too, is my outside routes and trying to put that into my game so I'm not just labeled a ‘slot guy.'"

A consequence of increased offensive responsibility could be fewer reps on special teams. The Green Bay Packers may not be totally comfortable with anyone else handling punts and kickoffs, however. Cobb's presumed backup, Jeremy Ross, dropped a critical punt during the playoffs last season.

More from SB Nation:

Ryan Clady signs 5-year deal with Broncos

No progress on Jairus Byrd, Bills talks

Victor Cruz apologizes for George Zimmerman tweet

Ndamukong Suh: Missing playoffs would be "absolute disappointment"

Photo: Maurkice Pouncey wears "Free Hernandez" hat

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