Safety Eric Berry’s return to the Chiefs lineup to play at a high level after being diagnosed with lymphoma in 2014 was one of the best stories of the season.
The story of this offseason will be a more conventional one for Berry and the Chiefs. He’s set to become a free agent, which means he and the Chiefs will be doing the familiar negotiating dances in the weeks and perhaps months to come.
“Obviously, this is family,” Berry said, via the Kansas City Star. “At the same time, we will sit down and talk about it when we talk about it, but right now I’m just thankful for my teammates, my coaches and everybody that has something to do with me being back on the field this year. This is something special. Like I said, we’ll talk about it.”
The Chiefs could use the franchise tag on Berry, which would cost them in the neighborhood of $10 million. That’s not as realistic an option for veteran linebackers Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson as the tag at linebacker is north of $13 million, but both veterans say they’d like to remain in Kansas City as well.
Hali dealt with a knee injury all season and needs offseason surgery. Dee Ford had some good moments in extended playing time while Justin Houston was out of the lineup, which may mean a different role for Hali if he’s back for an 11th season with the Chiefs.