As many of us expected, Eric Berry is reportedly not going to be joining the Kansas City Chiefs at training camp this weekend. The first report of this came from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Sources: #KCChiefs S Eric Berry is not planning to report with his teammates for training camp. He hasn’t signed his tag, so no fines— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 26, 2016
Berry will NOT be fined as he is technically not under contract with him not signing his franchise tender. Theory time! I wonder if Berry’s camp is trying to work out another one-year contract, perhaps with the stipulation that he can’t be tagged again in 2017. Some reporters have floated that idea and those reporters probably heard that from someplace.
Berry can work out another one-year contract with the Chiefs now ... just not a long-term deal until after the season. That’s something to monitor but if I’m the Chiefs I am not giving up the right to franchise tag him next year. What exactly can Berry offer? I can’t imagine he would skip real games. Giving up the right to use the franchise tag to get him into camp for a few weeks isn’t worth it. Who knows if that’s what they’re debating though.
So what’s next? Usually in these cases, the player reports after the team breaks camp, so sometime around the third preseason game. That would give him a few weeks to get into football shape before the season. That last part is important because Berry still has to go out and have another big year in order to potentially land that big contract. We don’t know if that’s what will happen here but that is the most common outcome with these situations.
We asked Andy Reid about this report earlier and he acknowledged that he had heard it but said he didn’t know whether Berry would be here. He said he had texted Berry a few times but that’s it. I asked Reid if Berry was upset with the Chiefs or if this is just business and he said he didn’t know that. Reid did, however, mention Berry staying with the Chiefs down the road so clearly he’s in their plans ... if they can sign him to a deal next year.
Alex Smith sung his praises too. It's just so bizarre to see him unsigned right now. I know it's business but...
You can see some of Reid’s comments here: