Locked on Chiefs – Eric Berry and the safety scenarios
By Ryan Tracy
John Dorsey and the Kansas City Chiefs are busy working on the biggest hurdles of their offseason.
Last week’s comments by Dorsey that the two sides were in communication regarding Eric berries contract is a good sign. Barry’s representative, Chad Speck, confirmed the two sides are communicating. For the team’s interest in 2017, the best scenario is to agree on a long-term contract that is both cap-friendly and rich enough to satisfy Berry.
If they are not able to agree on a contract the team has the option to refuse the franchise tag. However, the cost of using the tag for the second consecutive year on Berry would be counterproductive.
If the team and John Dorsey are unable to sign Eric Berry, two possibilities come to the forefront.
First, the Chiefs have to decide on how much they’re willing to spend on Daniel Sorensen. He too is a free agent, although he is restricted. The Chiefs will have to decide how high a tender to put on Sorensen. That way, if a team does offer him a contract the Chiefs are unwilling to match they will be compensated in draft picks.
John Dorsey drafted Eric Murray in 2016 as a player that could grow into a starting role at safety. Murray played cornerback, both outside and in the nickel, in college at Minnesota. If the Chiefs lose one of the free agent safeties, Murray may be ready to step into that third safety role that can require some nickel coverage tasks as well.
If the Chiefs were to lose both Berry and Sorensen it would likely necessitate a first or second-day draft pick to replace them. Several NFL analysts, including Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com, have mocked University of Washington safety Budda Baker to the Chiefs at #27.
If the Chiefs and Berry’s representatives can work out a contract early or prior to free agency, the team can likely avoid having to draft a safety and can concentrate and other areas of need in the 2017 draft.
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