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Earl Thomas's deal with Seahawks shows the value of a top safety

This isn't a "Should the Chiefs extend Eric Berry?" post, but everyone will think it is anyway. Recent contracts given to Jairus Byrd and Earl Thomas show the cost of a top safety.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Berry's future with the Kansas City Chiefs has been a topic ever since the KC Star's Sam Mellinger called for the Chiefs to trade him, largely due to some of the financial constraints a player at his position creates.

We know Andy Reid refers to Berry as a Pro Bowl safety because that's what he is. We don't know if Chiefs GM John Dorsey plans to extend Berry when his contract is up after the 2015 season.

But if the Chiefs did want to give Berry a contract extension, how much would it cost? Two recent contracts from safeties provide some context around the value of a top NFL safety.

At the start of free agency, the Saints signed safety Jairus Byrd to a six-year, $54 million deal. The most recent safety contract came today, courtesy of the Seahawks and Earl Thomas.

Berry's rookie contract was called a six-year, $60 million deal when he was drafted No. 5 overall in 2010. I know Byrd and Thomas play free safety vs. Berry's strong safety -- for what it's worth, Reid says his safeties have to be versatile -- but it seems reasonable to me that in a year or two, if the Chiefs do a contract extension with him, Berry could command for $9-10 million per year. Or maybe I'm wrong and we are seeing a widening divide between strong and free safeties.

I do think the Chiefs should do what they can to keep Berry. But there's enough money involved that the decision will be highly scrutinized from all angles.

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