Last offseason, the Chiefs were unable to strike a long-term deal with Eric Berry and they delayed things by using the franchise tag. The Chiefs could theoretically tag him again at an increased rate, but the safety says he won’t play along if that’s the route KC chooses. He says he’s “definitely not” playing on the franchise tender in 2017 (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com).
Berry earned $10.86MM on the one-year tender last year, a surprising outcome for many in the football world who looked at a long-term accord as a sure thing. Berry also dragged his feet before putting pen-to-paper, giving the impression that things were a bit frosty between the two sides. In August, ESPN.com’s Adam Teicher told PFR that he did not envision a multi-year deal for Berry and the Chiefs.
“It’s difficult to see that at this point. If the Chiefs weren’t willing to satisfy him with a long-term offer [in 2016], why would they do it [in 2017]?,” Teicher said.
This time around, it would cost the Chiefs $12.967MM to use the franchise tag for a second time. With limited cap space, the Chiefs might not be prepared to give Berry the type of accord he’s looking for. The Chiefs have the right to tag Berry twice, but Josh Norman managed to pout his way out of Carolina last year when faced with the prospect of a tag. Berry has a very different personality than Norman, but he seems equally unsatisfied with the specter of a franchise tender.
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