Eric Berry may skip all of training camp, preseason

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With the Chiefs not signing safety Eric Berry to a long-term deal before July 15, the franchise-tagged player remains without a contract. Under the terms of the tender, he can show up just a few days before the start of the regular season and still get the full amount of his $10.8 million salary.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Berry may do just that, skipping most if not all of training camp and the preseason, losing no money to fines but still getting the full $10.8 million salary.

The sole risk comes from the team’s ability to rescind the tag — something Chiefs coach Andy Reid did not once but twice during his time with the Eagles. Doing so would make Berry a free agent, and he would be hard pressed to get a deal on the open market that averages $10.8 million per year.

Under prior Collective Bargaining Agreements, the franchise tag for a given position was driven by the average of the five highest cap numbers in the prior year. Under the 2011 CBA, the tag is determined by the five-year average percentage of the overall cap that the franchise tag has consumed. With the growth of the cap outpacing in recent years the growth of the market at most positions, some franchise-tagged players — like Berry — instantly become the highest paid player at his position, albeit for only one year.

If the Chiefs would remove the tender, would another team pay Berry $10.8 million for 2016, or a multi-year deal averaging that much? Probably not.

It would be an unpopular move, to be sure. Berry has become a national inspiration given his recovery from cancer and his performance last season. But with Berry due to make more than any other safety and with the prospect of Berry showing up not fully prepared for Week One while still making $10.8 million, the Chiefs have to at least consider doing what Reid previously did with linebacker Jeremiah Trotter and defensive tackle Corey Simon.

14 responses to “Eric Berry may skip all of training camp, preseason

  1. At this point I’d be hard pressed to fault the Chiefs for it. Berry wanted to reportedly break the safety market at 12 mil per year?

    He’s good, but he’s not worth that kind of cash. Only downfall to rescinding the tag is losing his trade value, or heck the 3rd round conditional if he left in FA.

    If some team was willing to trade for him I’d pull the trigger.

  2. If I were him, I’d take Mondays, Fridays, and weekends off, and only work from 9 to 3 on the other days.

  3. From his perspective, just because another team won’t pay over $10m per year for him doesn’t mean it would be a worse deal. Someone could sign him to a long term deal guaranteeing say $25m. Even if that’s spread out over 3 years, it’s a lot more guaranteed $ than he’s getting with the franchise tag.

  4. Good luck, Eric. Glad to know that the team paying you while you were on NFI, supporting you in every way possible, and the fans having your back all the way meant so much to you.

    Don’t even give me the “it’s a business, he’s just trying to take care of his family, blah blah.” He’s already made more money than any person could need in a lifetime and then tried to fleece KC into drastically overpaying him while taking advantage of his hype wave. They offered to make him the highest paid safety in football even though he is nowhere close to that, and it still wasn’t good enough. So now you’re going to stick it to your teammates and put a damper on what could be a very special season. What a “leader” he is.

    I honestly hope they do pull the tag. Move on and be done with it.

  5. Berry has already been on of the highest paid players on the team due to the ridiculous draft slotting, which thankfully has changed.

    Next year its not a hard decision if it comes down to keeping a foundation of the 3-4 D in Poe vs a good but not great saftey that struggles to a degree with covering the TE in Berry. Berry was the heart of the team due to his incredible story, but not everyone can be paid. In this defense safety is probably one of the most replaceable positions.

  6. Guys that hold out or report late usually are the first ones to be injured and miss games. At 10.8 mil, that’s a lot of money to pay someone to heal while sitting on a bench.

  7. He’s just taking camp off. Players do it all the time, if they have a chance. I actually think the time off will help him physically. Last year was a long slog for him coming off cancer treatments.

    No worries here.

  8. Gives guys behind him opportunity to show what they can do. Maybe they can really shine and make Berry totally expendable.

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