Just after 3 p.m. on Wednesday, the Chiefs announced that they had released safety Eric Berry after nine seasons in Kansas City.
Although the decision didn’t come as much of a surprise — given Berry’s constant battle with injury over the last two seasons specifically — fans, media, teammates and NFL players alike shared their reactions to the news.
First, a look back on the day it all began:
A thought on Eric Berry from my time on Chiefs beat. During 2010 draft, I asked Todd Haley the reax in draft room when they took Berry as the fifth overall pick. Haley offered a big smile and said then-DC Romeo Crennel was passing out high-fives. What a career in KC for No. 29.— Herbie Teope (@HerbieTeope) March 13, 2019
When a top college star out of Tennessee became a staple in the Kansas City Chiefs secondary:
Eric Berry is one of the best college football players I've ever seen. The man was a God at Tennessee.— Patrick Schmidt (@PatrickASchmidt) March 13, 2019
And although Berry’s journey has been far from easy over the last nine years, the example he led by on and off the field — no matter how much adversity he faced — sits at the top of the list of things to remember him by:
Eric Berry will always be a Kansas City hero. Beat cancer, beat the crap out of opponents, an all-time Chiefs great in my book. #Chiefs #BerryStrong (@davidphotokc/Star photo) pic.twitter.com/c3K1qfQEtp— Jeff Rosen (@jeff_rosen88) March 13, 2019
From his first game as a Chief...
This was me and my brothers wit Eric after the game.. it was surreal, he jus got done with war, and still hung out with us for a while after the game , From the very first game Eric Berry has always been a model of what a football player should strive to be.. pic.twitter.com/hD4PAFtZvQ— relax damn (@dam0arigat0) March 13, 2019
To his last...
Berry served as a true leader:
And a fierce competitor:
As a Chiefs fan for almost 30 years, Eric Berry's game against Atlanta in 2016 is the greatest Chiefs' single game performance I've ever seen. I put it ahead of Jamaal's 5 TDs in Oakland, DTs 7 sacks against Seattle, Montana's Mile High Miracle, and Mahomes' 2018 performances.— Brad Boan (@Brad_Boan) March 13, 2019
In a way that’s left a lasting impression on Chiefs fans near and far:
We were at the Broncos game when he was introduced. His first home game after beating cancer. That’s the loudest I’ve ever heard arrowhead. It’s my favorite sports moment period.— Jeremy Paul (@JeremyBlackley) March 14, 2019
Atlanta game. Seeing him give the footballs to his parents in his hometown was awesome. That and the first home game back from cancer. The player introduction and hearing the crowd go nuts.— Stephen Floyd (@sFlo_DrNerd) March 14, 2019
Use to see him up at Starbucks in the morning and he would always come up and chat for a bit. Dude was as genuine as he was a great player.— cole blaise (@coleblaise) March 14, 2019
Him staying well after practice was over to make sure every fan got a picture and an autograph. He is a world class person. pic.twitter.com/PSww8RsT1x— philip coggin (@CogginPhilip) March 14, 2019
The Atlanta game was magic. Never seen anything like it.— Kyle Ayers (@kyleayers) March 14, 2019
I also remember reading years ago about people running into him at a Family Dollar store and he was kind and generous and wanted to still save money while shopping. Just all class. Will miss him.
So, despite an unfair ending to a remarkable career in Kansas City:
Fan sentiment largely turned on Eric Berry this past season. That’s natural. But whether it’s for a game or his ring of honor ceremony the next time he’s at Arrowhead it will erupt. Shame he didn’t have more playoff success. He’ll be loved forever.— Sam Mellinger (@mellinger) March 13, 2019
Berry’s legacy in Kansas City will be remembered for the good times:
I have an immense amount of respect for Eric Berry that transcends football. He meant a lot to a generation of football fans in Kansas City. That's not changing. Best of luck to him.— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) March 13, 2019
...And the funny ones:
Just ask some of his teammates...
One of the best people I have ever been around https://t.co/8s4rVENa24— ReggieRagland#Chiefs (@reggieragland) March 13, 2019
I don’t think I’ve ever played with someone that loves the game of football as much as Eric Berry. Great teammate and leader.— Jeff Allen (@JeffAllen71) March 13, 2019
...and even his opponents:
Eric Berry fought cancer...Came back 6 months after and had a Pro Bowl season! No matter where he go he already a winner— (@AB89x) March 13, 2019
So, no matter where he ends up next...
Eric Berry will always be a Chief.— Patrick Allen (@RPatrickAllen) March 13, 2019
And for that, all there’s left to say is: