Sep 15, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Eric Berry (29) celebrates after a play during the second half of the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 17-16. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

On Trading Eric Berry


On Sunday, the Kansas City Star’s esteemed columnist Sam Mellinger wrote a piece making his argument for trading Eric Berry – the entirety of which you can read at The Star’s website.

There appear to be three main points Mellinger making when suggesting the trade of Berry:

1. Kansas City has a lot of holes to fill and not enough picks to fill them.

2. Berry is one of the few pieces Kansas City has that would command a high return in a trade.

3. Kansas City needs the cap room.

Let’s take a look at those arguments one-by-one.

Point 1: KC Has Holes To Fill

This is an accurate statement. Even with the free agent signings and the projected returns of injured players, the Chiefs have about eight or nine distinct areas in which they need to improve. In no order, the following areas could use a draft pick: interior offensive line, offensive tackle (swing tackle or starting right tackle), defensive line pass rusher, outside linebacker pass rusher (with potential to take over for Tamba Hali or Justin Houston), a middle linebacker for passing downs, a future replacement for Derrick Johnson, a cornerback, a safety, a developmental quarterback, two wide receivers, a third tight end, and a running back to replace Jamaal Charles.

Some of these areas are more urgent than others. Finding Johnson’s replacement, for example, doesn’t immediately need to be done, but will need to be considered soon. And some other areas could easily be faked for a season, like finding another quarterback.

What’s important to not here is that while the Chiefs do have needs, few of them are critical to them being a winning team this season. This isn’t a situation like with the Oakland Raiders or Jacksonville Jaguars where they are still trying to find core pieces to their team. The Chiefs have a core that’s good enough to win with but do not have some of the key supplemental pieces to assist said core. When it comes to the immediate future of the Chiefs, they need players already on the roster to get better moreso than they need draft picks to produce quickly.

The passing offense is going to look much better if Travis Kelce and Anthony Fasano are healthy and on the same page with Alex Smith. Pass coverage should be better with Marcus Cooper having an off season to process what he experienced and to get bigger and stronger. Brandon Flowers now understands what it takes to play in the slot and can adjust accordingly. Eric Fisher, Knile Davis, and Mike Catapano should all be in better positions to contribute this season. These are all players who are more important to the Chiefs immediate success than anyone the Chiefs could draft in May.

Yes, the Chiefs have holes, but those holes are fillable within the team’s current roster.

Point 2: Eric Berry’s Value

When it comes to adding quality draft picks, Berry is one of the few players on the roster who could command a significant return. Some may argue why not trade Hali or Flowers for draft picks as opposed to Berry. The answer is simply Hali and Flowers cannot return in a trade what Berry can command.

Consider the way some of the guys who were put on the trading block this off season were handled. Darrell Revis, potentially the best cornerback in the league, was released because Tampa Bay could not get a fair draft pick for him. This was mostly due to his expensive contract.

DeSean Jackson was released due to his fit in the locker room. No one was willing to give up a third round pick for him, including the Chiefs.

Hali is on the wrong side of 30 and has an expensive contract. Those two things make it difficult for the Chiefs to get anything of value out of Hali. How willing are you to unload him for a fifth or sixth round pick? This is what we’re looking at.

Why trade Hali when A) the Chiefs cannot replace him at the moment, B) there was no one they could acquire who would be more affordable and just as good, and C) the return is one day three draft pick?

Berry has more things going for him that would in turn make him more valuable to teams. He’s young, already one of the best in the game at his position, and his pending contract extension should make him more affordable in terms of cap space. This is why he or Dontari Poe may be the two most valuable trade assets the Chiefs have on the roster.

Point 3: Kansas City Needs The Cap Room

They did, yes, but not anymore.

If the Chiefs were going to make this move, they needed to do it before the start of free agency when the money would have been more useful. Kansas City will be tight on cap space again in 2015, but not as tight as this season. They do have free agents in Alex Smith, Houston, and Rodney Hudson, but unlike this season, they have more future cap space to work with.

They issue Kansas City had heading into this off season was less about the cap room they had now and more about the cap room the did not have in 2015. This made it more difficult for them to structure contracts that would fit their 2014 payroll. Next off season, the Chiefs can defer money to the 2016 season and beyond.

Assuming a cap of $150 million for the 2016 season, which is the early conservative projection, the Chiefs currently have $96 million in cap space to work with. Some of that money will be taken by draft picks and for extensions for Smith and Houston, but the Chiefs have plenty of room to work with for signing players.

Additionally, there are several players who become far more “cuttable” next off season than they were this off season. Kansas City can save $9 million in cap space by cutting Hali, $7.5 million by trading or cutting Flowers, $5.5 million for letting go of Sean Smith, $4 million for walking away from Mike DeVito, $3.8 million for cutting Chase Daniel, and $3.55 million for releasing Donnie Avery. Hell, the Chiefs could cut Dwayne Bowe next March and save $3.5 million.

Now that this primary free agent season is finished, salary cap really isn’t much of an issue for the Chiefs anymore. No, this does not mean they will go break the bank on players next Spring, but the flexibility Mellinger is calling for will already exist.

If the point of trading Berry is to open up cap space then a trade would be foolish. Adding picks, especially in this draft, would make a great deal of sense, but the Chiefs could add picks and fill the roster holes they have by simply trading down in the draft. Trading down from their third round spot to add a fourth, fifth, and seventh round pick would work just fine.

It isn’t that trading Berry doesn’t makes sense, because it does. It just doesn’t make sense to do so now after free agency is mostly over and Kansas City’s own free agents have signed elsewhere.

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Tags: Eric Berry Kansas City Chiefs

  • Danny Farage

    Nice job Ben! You owned that guy!

  • Keane Santos

    Ben thank you for pointing out the third point, as that is what I’ve been saying for a while. Next year’s cap space is close to 100 million, Chiefs should (and are able to) extend Smith, Houston and Berry hopefully at least two of them before next offseason. Trading Berry makes little sense because the return he would net is far from guaranteed. Let’s give Dorsey and Reid some time before we make moves like this, way too much panic after a very impressive season.

    • michael mckee

      Dorsey did nothing.we all knew the talent was there it just needed coaching.dorseys draft aside from knile davis was a disaster,he added some depth THATS IT

      • Calchiefsfan

        I wouldn’t call it a disaster quite yet. If Fisher shows the same kind of improvement from year one to year two that both Houston and Poe showed then the pick will look much better. If kelce and Commings can stay healthy and contribute then the draft will end up being not so bad.

        • michael mckee

          Man that’s alot of ifs…

          • Calchiefsfan

            You’re right but it’s not too much of a stretch, that’s why I’m saying it’s a little early to call. Apparently Dorsey and Reid seem to be banking on it so we’ll see just how right they are this season.

          • Calchiefsfan

            Hey Michael here’s another “what if”, what if Catapano comes on next year. If we’re going to compete with Denver etc we need an elite pass rush and very good secondary, (or the other way around). It seems we’re closer, (one good pass rushing DL away), to having an elite pass rush than anything resembling a good secondary, imho.

  • michael mckee

    Please trade berry.hes a run stuffing safety,he sucks in coverage.overpriced and overrated

    • Horace Lee Madre Jr

      Raider fan!

      • michael mckee

        Not a raider fan.from kc and a chiefs fan for over 30 yrs…I just want a sb winner

        • Brian Dempsey

          Michael, I understand where you are coming from. Berry is OK to a point, but like you said, overrated and overpaid. I truthfully can’t say that Berry is better than Greg Wesley was when Wesley was playing under Vermeil from 2001-2005 and grabbed 24 INT’s — including 3 in one game in 2005 against Tom Brady.

          • michael mckee

            Thank you Brian.I’m glad to see there are some chiefs fans that dont wear rosey red glasses when watching games

          • michael mckee

            Homers that worship players like gods that dont care about their worship and will go to the highest bidder dont wanna hear cold hard facts or support necessary moves to better the team.

          • Brian Dempsey

            Quite correct about the the hero worship & those that do it, don’t look at things with a sense of diplomacy, but they better figure out fast that Dorsey/Reid don’t look at the KC Chiefs with any hero-worship perspective.

  • MoneyMontez

    Berry is a cornerstone on that defense–I understand that it makes sense as a “money” decision….but not in a football decision at all. It does not make you better…it gives you a CHANCE to get better…let’s say they trade him away for two high draft picks…what if both those picks turn out to be trash??? Food for thought.

  • berttheclock

    I’m sorry, Ben, but, you lost me the moment I read the word “esteemed” before the name of Sam Meillinger.

    No trade for Berry as he is one of the best in the NFL.

  • berttheclock

    When you review the 3 year career of Berry with the Chiefs, the 2nd year is a throwout. First year he was really learning his position. 3rd year showed great improvement and he had 3 INTS, with two of them becoming Pick Sixes and 10 passes defended. Not bad for a so-called “run stuffing safety”.

    • quan

      Im vols fan i been watching him for along time and he has the ability 2 b either a run stuffer or a center fielder the reason he don’t get the ball hawking label is because teams not gonna try him

    • michael mckee

      That 13 plays…..he spends .much time getting burned by TEs or whatever receiver hes covering.greg wesley mightve been better.quit falling in love with players people,berry is no reed or polamalu

    • michael mckee

      He had more picks his rookie yr.his 2nd pro bowl he didn’t deserve.berry is easily replaceable,there’s better safeties that make more plays and less money…

  • Horace Lee Madre Jr

    Andy Reid already found out the hard way that you don’t get rid of players who are the heart and soul of your team ( Brian Dawkins). Berry isn’t going anywhere.

  • Nemoi

    Trade Berry? Not no, but HELL NO!

  • Billie Cabral

    One could make an arguement that Davis may be the incumbent replacement to Charles. He had some good games last year as a rookie. Don’t get me wrong though he doesn’t have the skill set as Charles albeit a promising young player.

    • Ben Nielsen

      Very possible. Injury history with him concerns me, though.

  • Bdiddy

    I was pretty much on board with all of your points in this article…until I read the last paragraph. There isn’t a scenario imaginable that trading an Eric Berry could make sense. He is a consummate pro by all accounts and the organization would look back on his trading with regret.

  • sidibeke

    Trading Berry would be a damn fool move. He and Houston are the pieces to build around. I just don’t think you trade your young franchise players to fill holes. You need to create a culture such that role players step up to the level of your franchise players.

  • berttheclock

    Many trades of players for picks have not turned out well for teams. But, with KC, there is the precedent of the Jared Allen and the 187th pick to the Vikings for their 17th (Albert), 73rd (Charles), 82nd and 182nd. So, with the Lions being the top team needing a safety, if the trade was made, we would move up to 10th and have their 76th and 111th, possibly. Plus, Mayhew, their GM has been known to wheel and deal.

  • Michael Shaw

    Based just off the headline……………………HELL NO!!!! Why would you trade one of your best players that is actually helping the team get better????????????? Okay, now that my panic attach is over, I will read the article, LOL!!!

  • Michael Shaw

    Ben, first off good article as usual. Secondly I actually read the article now and while I understand the thinking, I do not think it makes this team better. I say keep Berry and see what the talent we collected last year does when healthy. As for your assessment of team needs, I have to disagree with you on one need you say the team has. I don’t think for a minute that we need a QB in this year’s draft. I say we are fine with Chase Daniels and Tyler Bray backing up Alex Smith. I saw Tyler Bray in a couple college games and I think he has the skill set to run Andy Reids offense. The only reason he didn’t get drafted was his personality issues, from what I have heard. This Year’s draft is deep in a couple of positions of need, so I say let’s draft early from positions of need that are not as deep in this draft. I think we can find a perfect fit at WR in rounds 3, 4 or 5. I like the idea of adding to the OL or DL with our first pick and then go from there depending on how the draft unfolds. GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Troy Utt

      Michael, I have to agree with you… Trading Berry from what could well be considered our worst position group makes no sense! Berry, Poe, & Houston are the cornerstones of our D… we must build around them!
      As for the QB position… it makes no sense to draft another! Why waste a pick when we have Smith on staff & Bray yet to be dispelled? There was not a better QB on the field the second half of last season, & Smith was lights-out in the WC game vs Indy!
      Bray has shown the apptitude & skillset to run Reids offense. Let’s not pencil him off due to immature behavior shown back in his college days… If not for second chances I’m quite sure most of us would not be where we are today!!!

    • Ben Nielsen

      What if trading Berry meant the Chiefs could draft Clinton-Dix and one of Brandin Cooks/Odell Beckham Jr./Marqise Lee? (Not saying I’d trade Berry, just playing devil’s advocate here.)

      • Calchiefsfan

        That would be awesome but I don’t think anyone would trade that high a pick for Berry or any other non elite QB player. Plus, it still wouldn’t help us beat the elite teams because we still wouldn’t be able to stop anybody. The Chiefs fell apart the second half of the season not because of the offense but because the defense got exposed. Our offense was smokin hot in the last quarter and playoff game.

        • michael mckee

          Bob sutton and his lack of adjustments got exposed…lets keep dunta on TY ….

          • Calchiefsfan

            I hear that. I’m not a big Bob Sutton fan. I hope he proves me wrong this year, that it was just the lack of a good FS that was the problem, but at the moment it was poor adjustments or lack there of that was the problem, imho.

      • Michael Shaw

        The point I am trying to make is that there is no guarantee that if we traded Berry for some high picks that we would get the return we “hope” to get. In Berry we have a certainty. In a trade for draft picks there is absolutely no certainty that we won’t get jumped by another team and not end up with Clinton-Dix or Pryor and one of the receivers you suggested. Too many variables to take a chance on setting the team back 3-5 years in their development.

  • Brian Dempsey

    I don’t think Berry will be traded. HOWEVER, I also believe that after his rookie contact expires, that he’ll hit the FA market and go to the highest bidder & it won’t be the Chiefs — same as Albert. And I suspect that Dorsey/Reid are already looking at drafting his replacement in the next two upcoming drafts.

    Like it or not, Alex, Houston, and Poe are higher priorities to get long-term deals done with than Berry is. And there may be others added to that list as the 2004 season unfolds.

    I don’t care how much Chiefs fans hero-worship Berry and I don’t care how much cap space the Chiefs have, 10 mill a season for a Safety is too much and if after his rookie contract expires, if he’s not willing to stay in KC for a reduced price of around 5 Mill, and someone else like Pioli is willing to overpay Berry ( like he did with Asamoah and Tyson Jackson ) , then he can take a hike.

    • berttheclock

      Brian, what is going to be interesting is comparing how the Chiefs are going to handle Berry and how the Seahawks are going to handle Thomas. Rare when two such talents at similar positions are going to come due to their respective teams at the end of their rookie contracts the same year. Similar to Kap’s agent watching to see how Alex Smith is going to be handled.

      Geez, I wonder what would be going on at Arrowhead had Pioli taken Jimmy Graham instead of Moeaki. Ah, the financial downside of drafting a future Pro Bowler.

  • tm1946

    It all depends on what is the object of the exercise is. Win a Super Bowl, win games, make the franchise successful monetarily, keep fans interested, or just allow the fans to bitch and moan about who is good or bad.

    It seems to me the current crop of the leadership of the Chiefs gave us a great year and now the team has to pay for it. Keep Berry or trade him, does not matter, this team will age over the next two years and, surprise, we will have money but the better players will be past their prime and, GUESS WHAT, we rebuild again.

    I suppose every team in the NFL goes thru this but we seem stuck in never being quite good enough mode. So….. trade Berry, try to find some guys who can play Reid’s game and pray Denver falls off the earth so the Chiefs can have a chance. Does not seem to be much chance without that happening.

    • Calchiefsfan

      Actually we’ve been stuck in rotten as in stinks mode. We finally made it to “not quite good enough” mode. Can we get to “almost there” mode this year? Personally I think we need to add talent to the existing base not get rid of one of our marquee players coming into his prime. Especially in the secondary considering Manning and Rivers.

      • tm1946

        My point. This team was good one year and returned to “also ran” almost immediately. We seem snake bit, just go thru football life, a bottom feeder or at best average. Sort of sad but Manning and Rivers are licking their chops just waiting for we Chiefs to show up. Keep Berry or not, seem to be building on sand.

        • Calchiefsfan

          I hear ya on that. We’re now into year two of the Reid/Dorsey era. Will it be the same old, same old or can we actually have two playoff years in a row?

          I wouldn’t be licking my chops if I was Rivers. The Chargers lucked out both games against us last year. First game both Hali and Houston go down. We were dominating them up until that point. The second game was, well you know. I can see us taking two from the Chargers this year, especially if we solve the FS problem.

        • Rob Ross

          With all due respect. Are you a member of the Pessimist Club or what. The Chiefs just went from cellar dwellers to legitimate playoff contenders in one season under new management. The Chiefs have done a very good job building this team within the confines of reality. With the exception of overpaying Bowe. Every NFL team builds on sand to a certain extent. That just part of the human condition. The Chiefs will be improved this year with the modest, realistic moves that were made. The draft could make a huge difference. GO CHIEFS!!!

          • michael mckee

            We will not improve on 11-5 next yr…9 wins would be a miracle.

  • jimfromkcj

    Well, we haven’t been able to win games in the playoffs with all these pro bowlers, so why not see if we can win without them. As you know I have argued that we have a cap that is upside down and overpaid players who are not worth the money. Now what I have been trying to say has been summarized by Teicher. If you go to Kansas City Chiefs blog ESPN you will see where we are upside down and see why I have been wanting to trade players to get the cap in line with what players are worth. And as this is considered the best and deepest draft for quite awhile and the number of underclassmen coming out will probably make next ears draft rather skimpy when it comes to really good players, It might be in the long term benefit for the chiefs to trade Hali, Flowers and Berry for draft picks.

    • michael mckee

      Amen.if berry got us a 1&3 we could grab a wr and safety in rd 1 and go after a rush DE in rd 3,maybe 2 of them since wed have 2 3rds also…quit falling in love with players people,its about this team WINNING,not who does it..

      • Calchiefsfan

        Berry would never get us even a 1, let alone a 1 and a 3.

        • michael mckee

          If hes everything people on here describe him as he should.

          • Calchiefsfan

            I haven’t seen any trade where a team traded their number 1 for a player yet this year but I’m just going on memory.

          • berttheclock

            There have been several trades of players for picks and most of them did not work out in the long run. However, the Vikings did trade their first round pick to the Chiefs for Jared Allen and threw in 3 other draft picks. The Chiefs used the second highest pick to take Charles. The other two picks ended up being picking players who didn’t make the roster. However, the Chiefs did throw in a lower pick to go along with Albert and the Vikings lucked out and picked up a Pro Bowl center in John Sullivan.

          • michael mckee

            Dynasties have been built on trading overpaid stars for draft picks.berry doesn’t care about kc,he will jump ship next yr to who offers the most money….trade him PLEASE

        • michael mckee

          If he can’t get us a 1 then why do we keep such overpriced talent?

  • David Gonzales

    No way we trade Eric Berry. If anything get the guy some help by drafting a free safety that can cover and tackle unlike horrible Kendrick Lewis. If somehow someway Deone Bucannon falls to round 3 or we trade down in the 1st round for a 2nd rounder Dorsey and Reid should jump all over him he is legit.

    • michael mckee

      Berry sucks in coverage,very avg at best…you can get his production for much cheaper.

      • berttheclock

        Yeah, you can find safeties with 10 pass defended, 3 INTs with two for TDs, anywhere, just anywhere.

        • Troy Utt

          Yep… Their growing everywhere! Berry’s stat’s could very well be higher if he had been targeted more, the fact he wasn’t speaks volumes. To try and justify trading Berry based off his rookie salary cap hit (which is a hold-over from the old cba) disregarding his play & true worth to KC’s defense would be a travesty!
          The whole purpose is to gain ground on our competition & by losing Berry in no way are we doing so…
          Berry along with Houston & Poe are the anchors of KC’s D, such consideration is a move in the wrong direction!!!

          • berttheclock

            Yeah, so many blasting the salary paid to Berry, yet, they don’t seem to realize Pioli had no choice but to pay that according to that inflated old system. It would not have mattered who Pioli took at that Number 5 position, Berry or Okung or even Earl Thomas, the numbers would have been the same. This AM over at ESPN, Teicher addresses that old system and how much it hurt teams drafting high that year. Just one later, and all rookie salaries dropped. However, one other thing about that year, check the difference in salaries between Berry and Earl Thomas, who was picked at 14 by the Seahawks. Huge difference, but, then, the Seahawks are stuck with paying a very high sum for Okung who was taken just behind Berry.

      • David Gonzales

        @michael_mckee:disqus You can’t get his production for cheaper. Nobody in this upcoming draft compares to Berry when he came out of Tennessee. 3x pro bowler at the age of 25. 4x if 2011 was not blown away by injury. Bob sutton needs to stop putting Berry on the TE and let him play center field.

        • michael mckee

          I agree,berry would benefit greatly from suttons departure

        • michael mckee

          3 ints,10 passes defensed,owned by any decent TE…..yes you can get his production for cheaper

          • David Gonzales

            2 of those INT’s were returned for a touchdown and sealed games. 3.5 sacks as well as 11 tackles for losses no other safety in the league comes close except T.J. Ward with 9. Last year Berry improved in coverage and he was not owned by any TE. Did you even watch the games? We have the best SS in the league defensive MVP caliber and you want to dump him SMH.

      • berttheclock

        Chris Wesseling of NFl.Com has rated Berry just behind both Thomas and Byrd. He wrote that Thomas has corner back speed and has the best range of any safety. He said Byrd is a true playmaker who specializes in forced fumbles and INTS. But, he said no safety has the combined QB sacks, hurries and hits than Eric Berry. Berry is paid according to the slot where he was drafted in the very last high rookie salary draft. As I have written above, had he been drafted one year later, his salary for that same 5 slot would have been far less.

  • htmn74

    Trade Berry an I will kill…

  • berttheclock

    I could write reams of copy about mistakes I believe were made by Pioli, but, over paying Berry is not one of them. Berry was drafted the last year rookie salaries were high for 1st round picks. Trent Williams was taken 4th and Russell Okung was taken 6th in the draft. Williams received a 6 year $60 M, with a $3 M signing bonus deal. Okung had a 6 year deal for $48.5 M with a $1.680 M signing bonus. Berry taken between them received a $50,044,300 M six year salary with no signing bonus. So, his contract does not even fall midway between that of Williams and Okung. Yes, this made Berry a very highly paid safety, but, it was due to the then contract. Had he been drafted a year later, when, the new CBA took effect, he would have been paid lower.

    In 2011, the first year of the new CBA, Patrick Peterson was drafted 5th by the Cardinals. He was given a 4 year $18,429,500 deal with an $11,903,272 signing bonus.

  • brett

    Why trade a proven player to get a couple of picks for players yhat may mot pan out. Trading berry has got to be the dumbest thing ihave heard all off season….why not trade charles why we’re at it……dumb

    • berttheclock

      File this under the old Viet Nam War saying of “We had to destroy the village to save it”. I believe in churn and in not letting players get old in the tooth, but, this trade scenario does not make sense. Yes, the Chiefs gained in the Jared Allen trade, but, that was a result of a standoff between King Carl and Allen which would never have been rectified.

    • michael mckee

      Berry is severely overpaid and this is the deepest draft in yrs.get all the picks you can.berry will be traded

  • Josh Landers

    How about this trade scenario. Tony g for a second, draft arenas, trade arenas for Sherman. Now put berry in tony g’s spot. Berry for Sherman. No thank you.

    • Ben Nielsen

      I trust Dorsey’s drafting abilities over Pioli’s.

      • berttheclock

        Good morning, Ben. I have asked this before to others, but, I wonder how Dorsey would be addressing the problem of retaining Jimmy Graham had Pioli been just a little sharper in taking Graham over Moeaki. Imagine trying to find re-up money for Graham.

        • Ben Nielsen

          One could make the argument the Chiefs probably don’t re-sign Bowe and instead give his money to Graham. Either way, I’d rather have the Graham problem than the Moeaki problem.

          • berttheclock

            Thanks. I agree. But, one thing about the money paid out to rookies. Yes, as seen by the Berry year, teams drafting at the top did have to really shell out the huge bucks. However, even though the new CBA had vastly lowered those costs, it did create one major headache. Now, should a rookie really shoot up to stardom, he and his agent will want mega bucks for his first re-up. That is really their only big chance at major money, especially, in the guaranteed range. After that, few will ever see the entire amount paid out.. So, in some ways, there really is no perfect world for a GM to attempt to keep the cap in line. Just a lot of juggling of talent.

      • Josh Landers

        I do, too. But he is not perfect and the draft is not an exact science. It’s a crap shoot. I’m just saying I would take my chances with a good player with no character concerns over an unknown 99/100.

  • jimfromkcj

    In 2010 when we drafted Berry, I wanted Okung and I made my case that you just didn’t draft a safety that high and overpay for the position because it would screw the cap up by throwing it out of balance. I made that case on either here or on ESPN where I was posting at the time. It has been proven right as we are over invested at several positions and couldn’t afford a franchise QB like Breese or Brady even if we had a chance. It is going to be hard to give Smith the going rate next year without getting some extra cap room. Some are predicting it will go up to 150 mill. That is a 17 mill increase in one year. I have doubt it will increase that much, but anything is possible. But if it does we will still have other contracts that need signed with Houston wanting a lot more money.

    • berttheclock

      Had the Chiefs signed Okung, he would have received the same salary as did Berry. BTW, his contract with the Seahawks was only $2 M less and he ended up being lost to them for most of two seasons with a High Ankle Sprain. So, had Okung been signed, he would have tilted the offensive financial problem further out of whack. I suggest, as you mentioned Teicher yesterday, read him today where he comments how the over priced rookie draft system prior to the new CBA is responsible for those high cost problems teams have today because any team who drafted high in that last year all ended up paying through the nose. Go back to that draft and review the high salaries paid out to the Top Ten in that draft. The Redskins picked just before the Chiefs and paid an OT $60 M. That was the runaway financial drain draft.

      • jimfromkcj

        bert, LT’s, especially very good ones are worth more than safteys in the scheme of things. We would have been able to move Albert over to LG and been set for years on the left side with Okung. Yes, he had considerable time off with the ankle, but he anchors a super bowl champion team’s off line. What has Berry actually contributed? I have always said that the NFL has decided over many years how they value positions and how much each position is worth. Their are exceptions to the rule as some owners like the bragging rights to having the highest paid player. These owners are in most cases trying to muddy the waters from not being able to produce a winning team. Case in point, Joe Thomas of the Browns. Through all their years the only thing they could hang their hat on was that they had the highest rated and highest paid LT, but it has sure not made an otherwise poorly constructed team a winner. They are like the Chiefs in so many ways, unable to draft and stick with a QB, Weakness in the center of the off line and WR’s who have the dropsys. They may be on the cusp of turning it around. But like the chiefs they always seem to turn success into disaster.

        • berttheclock

          I feel had Pioli taken Veldheer, instead of Asamoah, Albert could have been moved then before those LT dollar signs started growing in both his eyes and in the eyes of his agent. But, consider the problems facing Tampa Bay from that same draft of 2010. They have the highly paid 3rd pick Gerald McCoy who has gone to two Pro Bowls. If they can not work out an extension for him, they will be faced with a franchise tag in 2015 of $18 M and I know Lovie Smith is not going to let him go. Even in Detroit, the Lions are trying hard to get an extension with Suh, who was the 2nd taken in the draft.

          As for those problems of the Browns, they made a huge mistake in staying with the o-line after taking Joe Thomas, but, veered off to take the “Fans Favorite” Brady Quinn. They should have stayed in the trenches and solidified the other side of the line.

          • jimfromkcj

            I am sure you are right about Veldheer, He was rated the #1 LT by many of the pundits, but as he was from a small school and I never had access to any of his tapes I chose to ignore him. I guess the GMs from all the teams had the same doubts as he fell to the third round. I don’t mind admitting my mistakes, and I don’t mind patting myself on the back as well. I made one of my biggest in that draft as I saw several games of Hernandez on TV and thought he was the best receiver in that draft. I can’t argue with that decision, and I can only blame the lack of knowledge of his character for being so wrong. I also preferred John Jerry to Asamoah in that draft. He and Schwartz will solidify the Giants off line in the middle and I am anxious to see how they do. I touted Schwartz over on the Browns blog before they drafted Mitch Schwartz. He is another one of the tackles I wanted the Chiefs to draft, and I thought what a right side the Brownies would have with the Schwartz Bros. on the same team playing next to each other.

          • berttheclock

            Mistakes you say. Hey, I am still having problems trying to live down my suggestion to the Blazers in saying they needed a big center such as Oden over Durant.

          • Brian Dempsey

            Jim, I like O-Lineman as much as you do & learned long ago that they are a premium in KC. But, I was wrong about Gabe Carimi & John Moffett out of Wisconsin in the 2011 draft. I believed at the time they would be good players, but they have completely washed out.

      • Brian Dempsey

        Bert, I have to go with Jim on this one. Besides, it not etched in stone that Okung would have missed the playing time that he has up in Seattle, if he had become a Chief. That’s an unknown. And besides, Berry missed an entire year already.

        Not only that, but things came full circle with the Chiefs drafting Fisher #1 overall, so in reality, passing on Okung only delayed the inevitable.

        • berttheclock

          I was not against taking Okung, but, as I have written, Okung would have been paid the same amount as Berry and, once again, due to that old contract, it would have tilted the offensive part. It was that damn old CBA contract which caused the problems. Did you read my comment about the disparity between the salary of Berry and Thomas, who was taken at 14 and is paid far less than Berry, but, is one of the top safeties in the league? Seattle was fortunate they had two first round picks in that draft. Of course, if Pioli had been really smart, he would have taken Okung and found both Chancellor and Richard Sherman in the lower rounds. But, then, had I really smart on far more than just one occasion, then, I would be……………………

          • Brian Dempsey

            The problem I had with taking Berry was the fact that they had two 2nd round picks in that same draft and there were other good Safeties to be had in that same draft class. I trust Dorsey will find some good DB’s in the later rounds, which Pioli was not able to do. See Sam Shields up in GB, who wasn’t even drafted.

          • berttheclock

            Yeah, Dorsey sees the forest as a whole, whereas, Pioli couldn’t see the forest because of the trees. Pioli did not like taking walks through the woods to find the hidden gems.

          • berttheclock

            For that second round, he could have taken T J Ward instead of Dexter, but, funny thing about that round is one of the few mistakes made by Trent Baalke of the Niners. For some reason, he had fallen in love with Southern Cal D-backs and he took Taylor Mays, who ended up being foisted off to the Bengals. I remember some writer for the Niners Blogs suggesting Baalke had made a huge mistake in taking Mays when he could have taken Arenas.

        • berttheclock

          One funny thing about Okung. I remember many comments about the High Ankle Sprain suffered by Dexter and trying to tie in his small size as a reason for the HAS, but, they never mentioned the huge Okung, who had the same problem. However, how did the HAS problem suddenly show up in the NFL? My wife suggests not enough stretching, but, I wonder if the move to low tops had any cause in the injury.

    • Ben Nielsen

      In terms of the cap, estimates have the cap going over $140 million for 2015 and over $150 million in 2016. I haven’t seen anything that says the cap will go over $150 for next season.

      • jimfromkcj

        Sorry Ben, I could have missed that, But it even makes my premise, even more compelling. We are just going to be in cap hell until we get these overpaid players traded off and drafted their replacements at the new going rate. The chiefs need to quit trying to placate the fan base and bite the bullet and get the cap under control, and if it takes some unpopular moves to do it, do it and if they are smart in the draft and get some good players and start winning consistently the fans will come around. Do you know any fan that doesn’t like winning? When you don’t win, fans turn to love of individuals instead of the team as a whole, and that is where I see things at this time.

        • Ben Nielsen

          No worries. Just wanted to clear it up to help you out a bit.

        • michael mckee

          Agreed,quit listening to those fans that fall in love with players.its a business

  • berttheclock

    The Niners dumped the Pro Bowl safety Goldson and Tampa Bay gave him a 5 year $41.250 M deal with $18 M guaranteed. This is the one Earl Thomas and his agent are following in their negotiations for an extension with the Seahawks. The Seahawks had signed Chancellor to a lowly 5th round salary, but, bumped him to a 4 year $28 M deal with $17 M of that guaranteed, so, when, Thomas gets his extension, the Seahawks will have the two highest paid safeties playing as a tandem in the league. As Okung has been injured so often and has not shown elite playing ability, he is considered to be the 4th in line for an extension with the Seahawks.

  • michael mckee

    This thread and history shows that the chiefs would be very wise not to listen to the homers….berry,flowers,tamba and bowe must go

    • Brian Dempsey

      While the departure of those players you listed is lurking on the horizon, it probably isn’t a good idea to just dump all them at once without any suitable replacements already in-house. That would be too much to absorb going into the 2014 season.

      • michael mckee

        It would be nice if they could go all at once for decent value and we get some new blood,younger talent.we havent won with them and most likely never will…

  • michael mckee

    The bottom line is berry will walk just like Albert,might as well get something for him.notice the players dont become attached to kc like the fans become attached to the players??trade berry,lets get this team better.show you are a real gm john dorsey,not a puppet with no power only there to save clarks money….

    • Brian Dempsey

      I suspect that probably will be the case. And I do agree that Chiefs fans in general need to cast aside this love affair that many seem to have with Berry and step back and look at the bigger overall picture.

      10 mill a season for a Safety is just too big of a luxury & the need to get long-term deals done with Alex, Houston, and Poe far outweighs that luxury.

  • e_racer

    The Chiefs will not go heavy into free agency this year, and they will do very little in free agency next year. Their cap situation is just too tight to make much of a statement in free agency. However, that does not mean they will disassemble they entire team in order to sign some other team’s cast offs. That would be ludicrous. Eric Berry cost too much. That much is true. It isn’t Eric Berry’s fault. He has played up to the standards of his contract. He is pricey because his contract was before the NFL reset the rookie pay scale. 2015 is a voidable year. I believe the Chiefs and Berry will get something done this year.

    What is Berry worth? Troy Polamalu just signed a three year deal worth $20 M, but Polamalu is at the end of his career, age 32. The true comparison would be the deal recently struck by Jairus Byrd. New Orleans signed free agent Byrd to a six year deal to the tune of $54 M with approx. half guaranteed. Considering the Chiefs are obligated to pay Berry $8.417 M this season, it is likely that number would have to work into the mix. If the Chiefs redo Berry’s contract, a fair number might be in the $60 M range with about half up front or in guarantees. If the Chiefs want to keep Berry, then it will likely be at a rate that closely mirrors what they are currently obligated to pay him.

    Whether KC decides to extend the contract, trade him away, or allow him to enter free agency after his contract, Eric Berry will get paid, and he will be a very rich man. Personally, I would rather have Eric Berry than Jairus Byrd, although some may see things differently. I think they’ll try to get an extension done, but will let it ride if they can’t. Mellinger makes a good financial point. Adam Teicher makes a valid team point. Look at it this way, at least the Chiefs didn’t take Sam Bradford or Rolando McClain. There are worse things than paying top dollar for a productive player.

    • Brian Dempsey

      I don’t see that happening. Not with Alex, Houston, Poe and a surprise player, Donald Stephenson, being higher priorities than Berry. Most likely, they’ll let him walk just like Albert. And I suspect that Berry will not restructure, because he knows that Pioli is down in Atlanta and willing to pay him, just like Pioli did with TJ and Asamoah. 41 mill in contract payouts to TJ and Asamoah and with that, I have to suspect Altanta would be willing to pay Berry.

      • e_racer

        Where does Atlanta get all this money to spend? My guess is that problem will be remedied soon if Pioli still has pull after this year.

        Pioli must have some awkward pictures of Dimitroff hidden away somewhere.

        • Brian Dempsey

          I was thinking the same thought regarding Pioli having some dirt on Dimitroff, judging by the signings of TJ and Asamoah. They could have got two similar players for half the price.