The countdown to Eric Berry’s new contract is now one week. At 3 p.m. (Arrowhead Time) on July 15, the Kansas City Chiefs must have Berry signed to a long-term deal or else he will be playing out the season under his franchise tender (or another one-year deal if they want to work that out).
July 15 has been a key date in the past. The Chiefs got Justin Houston’s contract done right at the deadline last year. Houston’s deal was much bigger and more controversial than Berry, who seems like a lock to be a lifelong Chief.
The Chiefs have motivation to get the Berry deal done. Currently, he counts $10.8 million against the cap. A long-term deal could drop that number by as much as $7 million. Considering the Chiefs have just a couple hundred thousand in cap space right now, that would be much needed.
How much are we talking here? Berry has a case to be the NFL’s highest paid safety. Harrison Smith and Earl Thomas are right around that $10 million per year mark so I suspect that’s the ballpark we’re talking. Berry was part of the last draft class to have the big contracts so he’s coming off of a six-year, $50 million rookie contract. In fact, that contract made Berry the highest paid safety back in 2010.
Have there been any talks between the two side lately? NFL Network’s Rand Getlin recently reported that there hasn’t been any back and forth between the two sides in a while. The fourth of July is also a time when many NFL folks take time off so I wouldn’t be surprised if they are back at it next week. In fact, with the deadline next week, I would be stunned if they weren’t talking next week.