11:02am: We have conflicting reports on the Berry talks. The Chiefs and their star safety haven’t been in contact at all today, according to Rand Getlin of NFL.com (on Twitter). The two sides remain “miles apart” on reaching a long-term agreement, he says.
9:55am: The Chiefs and Eric Berry are still working and trying to hash out a long-term extension, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The two sides haven’t quite arrived at a deal yet, but they will be working until the deadline to hammer something out.
This is a positive development for KC and their star safety and a stark contrast from yesterday’s reports. On Thursday morning, it was said that the two sides were nowhere near a deal. On Thursday evening, there was still “very little progress” between Berry and the Chiefs on a deal and a pact was termed as being unlikely. Berry is believed to be seeking a deal that would edge out Vikings safety Harrison Smith and his newly-minted five-year, $51.25MM contract.
Berry, who earned Pro Bowl nods in three of his first four NFL seasons, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014, raising some doubts about his future in the league. However, the veteran safety was declared cancer-free in 2015 and enjoyed one of his best seasons this past year for the Chiefs. Appearing in all 16 games for Kansas City in 2015, Berry logged 61 tackles to go along with a pair of interceptions and 10 passes defended. Pro Football Focus ranked the Tennessee product sixth among 88 qualified safeties, and the standout season earned Berry his fourth Pro Bowl berth, along with a spot on the NFL’s All-Pro first team.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.