In 72 hours, we’ll have a better sense of what All-Pro safety Eric Berry’s future will be with the Kansas City Chiefs. The team has until Friday, July 15 to get him signed to a long-term deal. Should the sides fail to do so, they’ll still have time before the new league year arrives and Berry becomes an unrestricted free agent. Though, if I’m being honest, if Berry has to spend the 2016 season on the franchise tag, I think he and Kansas City will eventually part ways. No pressure, John.
Before anyone assails the Chiefs for failing to lock Berry up for the next 4-5 years, I think it’s important to remember that NFL negotiations require flexibility on both sides. This decision isn’t to be taken lightly. There’s a strong possibility that when the ink dries, Berry’s new deal could exceed an annual value of more than $10 million per year.
Over the past several days, there’s been quite a lot of discussion in Chiefs Kingdom over the Berry contract situation. Needless to say, it’s been a polarizing conversation. Who’s at fault here? Either you blame general manager John Dorsey for failing to make a fair market offer, or the former Volunteer for his aspirations to become the “highest-paid safety in the National Football League.”
The truth’s likely somewhere in the middle, but I know many of the ideas I’ve heard expressed are wrong-headed. Today, I’d like to look at a few of the opinions that I’m not particularly fond of. NFL fandom is complex and often creates intellectual blind spots to the realities of the league. Hopefully when we’re done here, we’ll have much-needed perspective. Let’s all take a deep breath. Now if all hearts and minds are clear, let’s get into it.
Next: Which side bears responsibility?