The Chiefs and safety Eric Berry are finalizing a six-year deal worth $78MM, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). It will make him the highest paid safety in the NFL. Berry has topped the Cardinals’ Tyrann Mathieu, who previously led all back end defenders with a $12.5MM+ annual salary. The deal includes $40MM in guarantees, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter), including a $20MM signing bonus. He’ll earn $30MM over first two years of his new deal, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets.
Berry, 28, said that he did not want to play under a franchise tender for a second consecutive season. Now, the two sides have successfully avoided a potentially awkward situation between the two sides. Now that Berry is taken care of in advance of the franchise deadline, KC can tag fellow free agent Dontari Poe. Poe would earn roughly $13.5MM on the tender.
Berry played a full 16 game season in 2016 and posted four interceptions, nine passes defensed, and one forced fumble. he graded ou tas the NFL’s No. 8 safety, per Pro Football Focus, which also handed Berry top marks for pass coverage.
Just this week, Berry said he wasn’t “getting [his] hopes up” about the prospects of a new deal, but his representation has worked feverishly to reach agreement on a long-term pact.
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