3:17pm: Chiefs GM John Dorsey issued the following statement:
“Unfortunately, we were unable to reach a long-term agreement with Eric’s representatives before today’s deadline. Although both sides would have preferred a different outcome, Eric is a true professional and a tremendous football player, and we know that he will continue to be a leader in our locker room. We look forward to resuming our discussions on a long-term agreement when the negotiating window reopens after the season.”
2:48pm: The two sides never agreed on a single component of a potential deal, Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star tweets.
2:43pm: During talks with Berry, the Chiefs proposed that he pay for a disability policy that named the club as beneficiary, sources tell Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The club later backed off of that request, however. Garafolo (Twitter link) adds that there is some precedent for such a move, including the deals of Niners players Colin Kaepernick and Joe Staley.
12:57pm: The Chiefs and Eric Berry will not agree to a long-term deal today, according to Rand Getlin of NFL.com (on Twitter). Berry has yet to ink his $10.81MM franchise tender, but he is expected to do that soon. After playing out the season on that one-year contract, the Chiefs will have the option of hitting Berry with the tag once again, but at an increased rate.
Berry has been the face of the Chiefs’ organization for some time and heading into this offseason, many expected the two sides to come to a long-term agreement. However, Berry’s camp and KC have been “miles apart” on terms and the gap apparently never closed.
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.