Franchise tag looms over Eric Berry situation

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Last year, the Chiefs paid safety Eric Berry $10.8 million for one year under the franchise tag. This year, it’s still not known whether the two sides will find a way to continue the relationship.

Berry insists that he won’t play under the franchise tag in 2017. At a 20-percent increase over his 2016 pay, which becomes $12.96 million, that’s a lot to walk away from — especially when the top of the safety market is less than $10.5 million per year. For one more year under the franchise tag, Berry would outpace the annual $12.5 million average arising from Tyrann Mathieu’s hybrid safety/cornerback deal.

Berry has every right to push for the security that comes from a long-term deal. However, until the deadline comes and goes for applying the franchise tag, Berry shouldn’t consider a penny less than $12.96 million for the first year.

After the deadline passes (and if the tag isn’t applied), Berry’s value will be driven by the open market. At that point, however, he’ll be free to go wherever he wants. Like, for example, back to Georgia.

Berry had a huge role in Kansas City’s regular-season win over the Falcons. With the Falcons now reeling from a 25-point collapse in the Super Bowl, who better than Berry — who has overcome cancer — to help the Falcons move past one of the low points in franchise history? So even though the Falcons may not need to go outside the current roster in free agency, Berry is the kind of luxury that they should maybe find a way to afford.

If it ever gets to that point, it will mean that the Chiefs and Berry have failed to work out a long-term deal and that the Chiefs have opted not to apply the tag. Before the Chiefs can make that decision, they should consider the impact on the locker room of losing a guy like Berry.

For a little sense of how that would be received, here’s our Super Bowl-week chat with Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson, who explained the importance of keeping Berry around.

9 responses to “Franchise tag looms over Eric Berry situation

  1. “However, until the deadline comes and goes for applying the franchise tag, Berry shouldn’t consider a penny less than $12.96 million for the first year.”

    Of course he should, that figure is for a one year deal with no further commitments. If he’s offered a 4 year $40m contract fully guaranteed he should sign it.

    The franchise tag figure is a cap not a floor!

  2. I congratulate any and ALL NFL Players, you each are premiere world class athletes. But, this is where it takes a major turn. The skills of your body clearly outshine the skills of your mind….. 10 million dollars (your 1 season paycheck) in today’s economy would sustain 16 middle-class families making a combined 60 thousand a year, for 10 years. Again, your 1 season paycheck would sustain 16 middle-class families for 10 years……. I use this only as a reference to point out how fortunate you players truly are…You are young, healthy and fortunate, because it is the fans who actually allow you the rate of pay that you feel you will walk away from……Now, zoom past 20 years when most NFL Players are physically destroyed and financially broke, you would be begging for that 10 to 12 more million that your greed and ignorance helped you to walk away from….I’m sorry sir, but you are a total and complete moron!

  3. Given that Alex Smith is 9-1 lifetime vs the Raiders including 5 wins in a row your comment is somewhat ironic. Chiefs have plenty of cap room to sign Berry as Nick Foles 10 mil will come off the books soon and they have other roster moves available.

  4. Are you referring to Alex Smith who is 9-1 lifetime vs the Raiders and has won the last 5 meetings in a row? Plenty of cap room for Berry as upcoming roster moves will create enough space. You might have a shot at picking up Dontari Poe so your run defense doesn’t continually get gashed.

  5. Alex Smith and Andy Reid. Chiefs fan just knows it will always end in bitter disappointment no matter how sparkly the regular season appears to be.
    A healthy Chiefs team with 2 weeks to prepare for a home playoff game?
    Choking like yellow dogs to the Steelers is exhibit A of just how pathetic Chiefs football really is.

  6. Don’t the Chiefs OWN the Raiders? LOL. Oaktown goes 3-3 in the AFC West last year and they give their coach a new contract and throw him a parade. Are you kidding me? That will get you fired in Denver. Ask John Fox.

  7. You know it’s the offseason when raider fan shows up. 1 winning season in 14 years, keep chirping off-season champions. And don’t make me bring up the Chiefs sweep this year.

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