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Can Eric Berry get his long-term deal before the Chiefs franchise tag deadline?

The Kansas City Chiefs deadline to use the franchise tag comes on the afternoon of Tuesday, March 1. That's roughly 36 hours from right now as I type this. The Chiefs have plenty of franchise tag candidates, including Eric Berry, Sean Smith and even Jaye Howard.

Berry seems like the most popular prediction to receive the tag -- if he doesn't get a long-term deal first.

The reports on Berry have been all over the place. Most seem to think that the Chiefs will keep him in some way, either through the tag or a long-term deal. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport believes the Chiefs will find a way to keep Berry while Yahoo's Rand Getlin reported last week there has been little progress on a deal.

The cost to tag Berry would be about $9.6 million $10.8 million but a long-term deal could very well have a first year cap hit lower than that. Even if the Chiefs tagged Berry, they can still reach a long-term deal with him before July 15.

I want the Chiefs to reach an agreement on a long-term deal with Berry so that they can free up the franchise tag for someone else, specifically Sean Smith. The cost of franchising a cornerback is $13 million $14 million so it's not a decision to be taken lightly but the Chiefs are close and I don't want to break up this secondary quite yet. Give it one more year. Smith, I imagine, would be unhappy with the franchise tag because someone else would give him a lot more money but the Chiefs need to use all the tools in their toolbox to keep this unit together.

Tick tock, John Dorsey...

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