Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry is not planning on having offseason surgery to repair his right heel, per head coach Andy Reid at the NFL’s Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
Reid broke the news to a scrum of local reporters before his official combine press conference.
“I think it’s all positive,” Reid told Matt Derrick of Chiefs Digest. “He didn’t have to have surgery, that’s kind of where it’s at.”
Yahoo! Sports’ writer and friend of the site Terez Paylor tweeted some additional information.
Chiefs safety Eric Berry went to Dr. Bob Anderson for a second opinion on his injured heel, and he felt surgery wasn’t necessary, per a source. Berry expects to participate in all off season activities.— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) February 27, 2019
Berry was held out of practice and games from mid-August until mid-December of 2018 with what the Chiefs described as a “sore heel,” though reports, which have never been confirmed (nor denied) say Berry has what is called a “Haglund’s deformity.”
Berry returned for two of the Chiefs final three regular-season games and the AFC title game against the New England Patriots. The Chiefs lost all three contestes.
In a conference call last month, Chiefs general manager Brett Veach mentioned Berry was heading to Green Bay, where Dr. Anderson (from Paylor’s report) is located.
“When the season ends, [the players are] going to get with (head athletic trainer) Rick (Burkholder) and there’s like so much medical information that they’re working through,” Veach said. “I think Eric was just in Green Bay a few days ago and is flying back. They’re going through all the postseason evaluations and exams.
“Once they get to sit down and talk to Eric’s people and other first, second-opinion-type people, they’ll put together a plan.”
That plan appears to be rest, a strategy that clearly did not work for Berry in 2018.
There is an out for the Chiefs, per CBS Sports and Clayton Football cap expert Joel Corry.
The $9.55M is only with the use of a post-June 1 designation before another $7.25M of Eric Berry's 2019 base salary, which is currently guaranteed for injury, becomes fully guaranteed on March 15. Chiefs would need to be confident he could pass a physical. https://t.co/JArbki1M5f— Joel Corry (@corryjoel) February 27, 2019
What this means is that as long as Berry could pass a physical by the third day of the 2019 league year (March 15), the 2019 salary guarantee is $2.95 million.
If the Chiefs cut Berry with the post-June 1 designation, the 2019 dead money is $6.95 million ($9.55 million in 2019 cap savings) with $8 million worth of dead money for 2020.
(Note: For reference, you may find Berry’s contract here, via OverTheCap.)
There are no doubt tough decisions ahead. It will be Veach’s turn to speak to the media in Indianapolis on Thursday morning at 10 a.m.