Eric Berry says he won’t play 2017 season under franchise tag

Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry says he won’t play the 2017 season under the franchise tag. Certainly no one would blame him…

Kansas City Chiefs’ star safety Eric Berry played the 2016 season on the franchise tag, and apparently won’t be doing it again in 2017…

The Chiefs have to find a way to get themselves some cap space if they are going to retain Berry’s services. According to Spotrac, they are currently more than $4 million over the cap heading into the 2017 offseason.

Kansas City could be making some serious headlines this offseason with cut players like Jamaal Charles or Tamba Hali, and if their goal is to keep Berry around, they may have to let go of both. This past season, Berry played 1,085 snaps, and graded out among the best safeties in football. He’s 28 going on 29, and certainly deserves a big contract before he is past his ‘prime’.

For a reference of the kind of money Berry is currently looking at, Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith signed a contract for five years, $51.25 million and over $10 million annually. Berry is definitely going to at least match that money and should probably exceed it.

Jairus Byrd will be the highest paid free safety in the NFL next year at $11.7 million, followed by Devin McCourty at $10.935 million and Earl Thomas at $10.4 million. There are so many teams with big cap space this offseason, it seems like Berry will be primed to break the bank which really leads me to believe he will be done with the Chiefs.

Berry played his college ball at Tennessee, and the Titans are in the top five of the NFL this year in cap space. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him return there on one of the more lucrative contracts signed this offseason.

Let the speculation begin.

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