From the looks of things now, Eric Berry isn’t going to appear in any of the preseason games for the Kansas City Chiefs, still angry about the franchise tag, and being unable to come to terms on a long term agreement.
Berry will make $10.8 million on the franchise tag next season, which makes him the second highest paid safety in the NFL behind Tyrann Mathieu of the Arizona Cardinals. But Berry wanted a long term deal, of at least $45 million, and with more than $20 million in guaranteed money. The Chiefs wouldn’t agree, and so we’re at this position: Berry holding out, probably coming back for the week 1 game against the San Diego Chargers, but obviously, the future is very difficult to predict.
Berry made the Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams on his comeback season after recovering from cancer, making it his second All-Pro season in three years. However, there seems to be an argument within the organization on whether Berry is going to stay this good for a long time, and on whether he’s going to be a top 5 safety for the foreseeable future, which means the Chiefs making a push to sign a contract with him at the end of this season, or perhaps he’s nothing special,which means it’s better off letting him go and become a financial burden on someone else. Both point of views exist, and Berry is in a crucial position to prove that he’s the former. The Chiefs not handing him the salary he wants shows they might be scared of signing him long term for so much money, and don’t see him as that great of a player.
In 16 games last season Berry had two interceptions and 61 tackles. He helped the Chiefs put up the third best defense in the NFL in terms of points per game, as they made their way into the playoffs and even won a postseason game for once.