Enjoy All-Pro safety Eric Berry’s 2016 campaign, Addicts. The season forthcoming will be Berry’s last with the Kansas City Chiefs. Sure, the front office will have another opportunity to sign him to a long-term deal before the new league year starts, but the ship has sailed. The team’s best opportunity to secure Berry’s future at One Arrowhead Drive disappeared into a cloud of smoke last Friday afternoon.
With the deadline behind the two sides, Berry’s set to play on the franchise tag in 2016. The former Tennessee Volunteer has yet to sign the franchise offer, but there’s no doubt that he’ll eventually commit his John Hancock and cash in on the $10.8 million he’s due to receive this season.
There’s no danger of a holdout beyond training camp (if it hasn’t ended prior to the Chiefs departing for Saint Joseph, Missouri). Doing so doesn’t help Berry’s cause. His best bet is to post another Pro Bowl-caliber season and elevate his stock even higher before he hits the open market. Make no mistake, he will.
It might seem reactionary, but I’m confident Berry won’t return as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2017. Today, I’d like to share two reasons why I think he’s on borrowed time. Chiefs general manager John Dorsey will have a pair of options in front of him next offseason.
Dorsey could retain Berry by slapping the franchise tag on him again in 2017 (triggering a cap number of $12.9 million — 120 percent of the 2016 figure). Dorsey will also have another crack at inking Berry to a multi-year deal that would keep him in Kansas City for the next 4-5 years.
Let’s discuss the two reasons why I think neither will happen.
Next: Exhibit A: The 120-percent rule