Tha Sports Junkies 101

Give Eric Berry What He Deserves

Eric Berry Andrew Mather/ via Flickr.com

NFL

Ever since the Kansas City Chiefs selected the then 21 year-old Safety out of Tennessee with the fifth overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, Eric Berry has been nothing but a model of consistency and perseverance both on and off the field. On the field, Berry’s play and accolades speak for themselves. A five time Pro-Bowler, three time First Team All-Pro, and the 2015 NFL Comeback Player of The Year.

Berry’s play on the field has been nothing short of spectacular, but his off the field toughness and perseverance is all the more impressive. Berry was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on December 8, 2014 and football was suddenly the least of his concerns, as Eric found himself fighting for his life. Miraculously, he would somehow return just the next season, as he was cleared for football activities on July 28, 2015. Berry not only found himself back on the field, but earned a Pro Bowl nod and led the Chiefs to an 11-5 record during his comeback season.

Despite Berry’s phenomenal performance and astounding comeback from cancer, the Chiefs were not able to come to terms with their star player on a long-term deal, and the Chiefs subsequently franchise-tagged Berry when he hit free agency following the 2015 season.

Eric finds himself in a similar predicament this off-season. Coming off of another extraordinary year in which he earned First-Team All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors in just his second season removed from beating Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Berry is once again a free agent. This time around though, there is simply no excuse as to why the Chiefs cannot reward Berry with the lucrative contract he deserves.


NFL Tickets

Technically, Berry was the highest paid Safety in the league this past season at a salary of $10.3 million. The catch? This salary is only guaranteed for one year under the franchise tag, and franchise-tagging Berry again would once again give the All-Pro Safety a huge salary for the 2017 season, but no security beyond that. There is no reason why Berry should not be given a contract that the other elite DBs in the league such as Harrison Smith, Earl Thomas, Tony Jefferson, and others possess. Berry has nothing left to prove to Kansas City, he has accomplished and gone through more than arguably any player in the league, let alone the other Safeties.

Simply put, the Chiefs’ front office would be doing Eric a disservice by not giving him the long-term deal he deserves that would keep him a Chief for life. Berry graded as the eighth best Safety in the league among 90 qualifiers this past season, according to Pro Football Focus. The Chiefs may have come up short this year after losing to Pittsburgh at home in the divisional round, but there is no way Kansas City even gets to that point without the contributions they received from their leader on defense-Eric Berry.

There is no replacing a player and a person as special as Eric Berry. If the Kansas City front office wants to keep their title-window open, resigning Berry to the long-term contract he deserves is a must.