Eric Berry and the Kansas City Chiefs are going to be moving forward for the 2016 season on a one-year deal under the franchise tag, much to Berry’s chagrin as Rand Getlin reported. He’ll enjoy the top-five salary for his position this season guaranteed and could test free agency in 2017.
I'm told there will be no long-term deal reached between the #Chiefs and Eric Berry. Never looked good to get done. This is final.
— Rand Getlin (@RandGetlin) July 15, 2016
As Getlin mentioned, getting a long-term deal finalized didn’t look good. Berry himself was surprised that the Chiefs didn’t move more in his direction leading up to the deadline (more on that here).
Berry will be 28 years old when he does finally can free agency for the first time. He came back from Hodgkin’s lymphoma last year to become Comeback Player of the Year and was voted to the Pro Bowl.
Pro Bowl safeties who can patrol the deep third are tough to find. Berry is one of the best at doing that in the NFL.
It’s easy to see where the Chiefs are coming from by not offering the six-year veteran a long-term deal. Coming back from cancer is tough, and it was unbelievable how he returned at a top level. But the possibility of it coming back or Berry sustaining an injury is very possible, based on his history.
That said, 2017 should look great for Berry. The cap will rise yet again, and a team that needs him and wants to sign him will break the bank for his talent level — injury and medical history be damned.
Berry is a great safety and a great mentor for a defense. He’ll be an asset to anyone in the NFL should he leave Kansas City after this season.