ESPN’s Louis Riddick was a player and scout in the NFL and just interviewed for the 49ers GM job this year. He understands the dynamics in an NFL locker room and talked about how that relates to Eric Berry’s franchise tag.
I thought this was insightful given his experience:
“When you start messing around with guys like this in terms of long-term contracts and you start making it all about dollars and cents and slotting them into a certain position and you don’t pay attention to how much they mean in the locker room, you can get yourself into trouble,” Riddick said recently on ESPN.
“You may feel as though you got the best value for them or saved your organization some money from a pure bottom line standpoint. I’ve seen how this happens. I’ve seen what it means when you lose guys like this and all of a sudden the other players kind of rebel against it. They get very angry about it and all of a sudden your team can kind of go haywire.
“We had it happen in Washington when Ryan Clark was there. Sean Taylor, not a happy camper. Adam Archuleta, wasn’t very smooth sailing when he came in there and tried to mess with Sean Taylor.”
All the public reports about how far away they were last year and Berry’s agent this year saying they’re not close suggests it may not get done. But it has to get done. I would still bet on the Chiefs to get this done somehow because of the dynamics that Riddick mentions here.