The NFL’s final franchise tag player is now under officially under contract, as the Chiefs announced that safety Eric Berry has signed his franchise tender. Berry has now reported to the Kansas City facility.
Berry, 27, will now earn a fully guaranteed $10.806MM base salary for the 2016 campaign, although he can’t negotiate a new deal with the Chiefs until next spring. 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.
Heading into the offseason, many viewed a long-term accord between Berry and the Chiefs as a foregone conclusion. However, the two sides did not see eye-to-eye on terms and the July 15th deadline did not spur action as expected. Now, Berry is slated to play out his one-year tender and he’s reportedly not thrilled about it.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.