How much is Eric Berry asking for? Let’s break this down ...
The highest paid safeties in the NFL are around the $10 million per year mark. Earl Thomas of the Seahawks set the standard a couple years ago with a four-year, $40 million contract. Harrison Smith of the Vikings, signed this offseason, is a little over at $10.25 million per year.
That means Berry should be asking for around $10-11 million per year, right?
It’s probably higher. Rand Getlin of NFL Network suggested recently on Snapchat that $12 million per year makes sense. If Berry were tagged two straight years, it would cost the Chiefs just under $24 million. Thus, no agent, Rand says, should be asking for less than $12 million per year.
He’s probably not wrong! The Earl Thomas deal was two years ago. The cap has gone up over $20 million since then. Put it that way, sure, I could see $12 million per year.
Pro Football Talk is reporting that’s where this breaks down. The Chiefs apparently don’t believe the starting point should be two years worth of tags (roughly $24 million), according to PFT.
Reading the tea leaves, if the difference is $10-ish million per year vs. $12-ish million per year, they seem to be close. Close enough that a reasonable person could believe they can bridge that gap.
Clark Hunt doesn’t come out and say "we’ll do everything we can" to bring him back and then not bring him back. The Chiefs have set the market before with other players. There’s precedent. It’s reasonable to think the Chiefs are making respectable offers to Berry. A reasonable person can also side with Berry’s (presumed) argument.
Despite all this, I still believe there’s a deal to be had until it’s 3:01 p.m. past Friday’s deadline.