John Dorsey: Franchise tag nice to have in your pocket

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The Chiefs have several impending free agents on a defense that helped them advance to the divisional round of the playoffs, including linebacker Derrick Johnson and safety Eric Berry.

Speaking from the Combine on Thursday, General Manager John Dorsey said that he’s been talking with agents for both of those players and that he plans to speak to Berry’s agent again this week in Indianapolis. When talking about Johnson, Dorsey said that the team isn’t going to let good players get away, which suggested that the franchise tag could be in play since that’s the best way the team can assure that things will play out that way.

Dorsey didn’t rule it out.

“I’ve used the franchise tag in the past and it’s not out of the possibility that I could use it again,” Dorsey said. “It all depends on how certain things go in the process, but you always want to have something in your pocket and I can use that.”

Using the tag on Berry would be about $3.5 million cheaper than using it on Johnson because the league doesn’t split up inside and outside linebackers when determining tag values.