The deadline to use the franchise tag is on Wednesday and ESPN’s Ed Werder is reporting that the “current expectation” for the Kansas City Chiefs is to use the franchise tag on Eric Berry and let Dontari Poe hit free agency.
Current expectation is that unless they sign one of them next 48 hours, #Chiefs will franchise tag Eric Berry and let Dontari Poe be UFA— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) February 27, 2017
Most Chiefs fans - even without sources - would’ve told you the same thing. If you only have one tag, you pick Berry over Poe. That’s been the expectation from my view. We’ll find out before Wednesday if the Chiefs can surprise us all and sign one of them.
We’ve spent all of our time talking about Berry but Poe’s case is interesting, too. Just because the Chiefs will (reportedly) let him hit free agency doesn’t mean he won’t be back. Sure, it’s less likely but Poe could hit the market and find that the other offers out there aren’t much better than the Chiefs and it’s better to stay in Kansas City. Or someone goes out and offers him a massive contract he can’t turn down and he’s gone.
Also, a note on the timing. If the Chiefs tag Berry this week, they can still sign Poe before free agency hits March 9. If a deal isn’t done by then, however, he’ll be a free agent. With so much money in free agency now, it’s in Poe’s best interest to test the market before signing anything.
If the Chiefs tag Berry, the negotiations aren’t done. They would then have until July 15 to reach a long-term agreement or else Berry will play out the season on the one-year deal.