Eric Berry moves toward another payday

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Eric Berry’s big year is laying the foundation for another big payday.

The Chiefs safety, to whom the team applied the franchise tag after his prior contract expired, didn’t sign a long-term deal before July 15. It means that the Chiefs soon will have to decide whether to apply the tag to Berry again, or to sign Berry to a long-term deal.

The tag won’t be cheap. At $10.806 million for 2016, Berry will be owed a 20-percent raise under the tag for 2017. That’s $12.96 million for one season at the safety position, nearly $500,000 more per year than safety Tyrann Mathieu is getting under his top-of-the-market deal.

It becomes even harder to negotiate a long-term deal, since Berry can force his way to the market in 2018, unless the Chiefs plan to give him the quarterback version of the franchise tag to keep him in place for another year.

Berry, who turns 28 later this month, showed on Sunday how important he is to the Chiefs defense. Apart from his contributions on the field, his leadership and personal story of overcoming serious adversity make him even more valuable.

The challenge becomes attaching the right value to his contract, and ultimately finding a way to bridge the gap between what he wants and what the Chiefs will pay.

Here’s the simple reality: If the Chiefs won’t pay him what he wants, someone else possibly will. Like, for example, the team in his home state of Georgia that Berry singlehandedly defeated with a pick six and a game-winning pick two.

Berry gets another chance to demonstrate his value to the Chiefs tonight, in a prime-time matchup with the Raiders. Which only happens to have the AFC West crown essentially hanging in the balance.

12 responses to “Eric Berry moves toward another payday

  1. Cowboy fan here. Usually don’t care about the goings on in the AFC West (other than when my Bronco fan friend and Charger fan friend go at it) but man…love this story.
    Who doesn’t?

    I have to admit… I’m a huge Eric Berry fan.

    #pickTwo

  2. Do the Falcons even have enough cap space to sign him?

    I know one other team in the NFC South that has MORE than enough cap space… as well as a HUGE need at free safety.

    GoBucs

  3. Avid Chiefs fan, loved the 5th overall pick and for his first 3 years he was a stud. Fell off a bit and was seemingly turning into a “in the box” safety. A position that has disappeared, I pegged him as a good S but one that missed his prime abilities by being 5 years past his true position.

    Then cancer came, awesome story, came back, lost some weight and is now playing coverage better than ever and still thumping like the old school string safety’s.

    I don’t see KC keeping Charles, unless he reworks his deal, and they simply can’t pay Poe (top NT money) and Berry (top S money) especially when they already pay Houston top dollars.

    All that said, I think KC has to keep Berry. From a PR standpoint but more for a leadership perspective. At 28 I’m not sure you can make him the highest paid, but likely top 3 for sure.

  4. Avid Chiefs fan, loved the 5th overall pick and for his first 3 years he was a stud. Fell off a bit and was seemingly turning into a “in the box” safety. A position that has disappeared, I pegged him as a good S but one that missed his prime abilities by being 5 years past his true position.

    Then cancer came, awesome story, came back, lost some weight and is now playing coverage better than ever and still thumping like the old school string safety’s.

    I don’t see KC keeping Charles, unless he reworks his deal, and they simply can’t pay Poe (top NT money) and Berry (top S money) especially when they already pay Houston top dollars.

    All that said, I think KC has to keep Berry. From a PR standpoint but more for a leadership

  5. Seems to me Berry would do better not signing a long term deal with KC.
    There are few safeties as good as he is, and there are many teams willing to pay plenty for his services should he become a gree agent.

    I’m guessing FT or FA most likely over a new contract.

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