Eric Berry on free agency: Chiefs are family, we’ll talk about return

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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.

11 responses to “Eric Berry on free agency: Chiefs are family, we’ll talk about return

  1. Berry gets the tag. Just like Houston he will get a long-term deal but it will probably take awhile. Dj will sign a new deal before fa begins and hali will probably hit the open market with sawn Smith. Just another day in the nfl.

  2. It’s difficult to imagine a scenario where Berry isn’t a Chief going forward. I think he and DJ will both be back.

    I would love to see Tamba back as well but he’s at the point in his career where he’ll be a situational player so it wouldn’t be surprising if they opt to go with Ford and bring Moses and Wilson along for depth.

  3. Baltimore needs a safety in the worst way. I said from the draft that this guy was special and we should have moved up and grabbed him when we had the chance. Ozzie has the chance to fix that mistake now and he is the type of player that Leslie Frazier can build his secondary around.

  4. I’m not sure how much Hali would count against the cap or that that figure would justify what he’s still capable of producing on the field. I mean, I’ve been a huge fan of Hali since his Penn State days, but his health and speed are starting to become obvious factors. If he’s capable of putting in another year as a supporting role player at a decent price, I’d go for it; but I’d sooner see him back as a LB coach.

  5. One way or another, the Chiefs will not let Eric Berry get away. Tamba is now #2 all time in sacks for the Chiefs and he really isn’t interested in changing teams. He’ll either be back with the Chiefs next year or he will retire–hopefully to become a linebacker coach for the Chiefs. DJ is also getting long in the tooth and isn’t likely to want to go anywhere. He’ll be back but won’t be making the big bucks.

    In this era when few players stay with one team for their entire career both Tamba and DJ will finish out their careers as Chiefs.

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