Even before the Super Bowl is played, the Chiefs’ free-agent negotiations are starting to heat up.
Eric Berry’s appearance on the NFL Network on Thursday brought into focus his intentions this offseason. This is posturing related to the negotiation with the Chiefs but it makes it clear that Berry wants to finish his career in Kansas City.
“I’m definitely not going to play under the franchise tag this year,” Berry said. “I want to end my career in Kansas City. I want to play there. I love the city, I love the vibe, I love my teammates. I really look at them more than teammates. We’ve been through a lot and they supported me a lot. And the organization. But I don’t feel comfortable playing under the franchise tag this year.”
Berry may not actually play under the franchise tag, but he could live with it for a while.
The first day teams can designate a franchise tag is February 15. The deadline for setting the franchise tag is March 1st. The 48-hour opening round of negotiations for UFAs 6 days later on the 7th of March. It is possible the team could designate him with the Franchise tag and yet sign him prior to Free Agency opening.
It’s already been reported that Berry’s representatives are communicating with the team. Per Overthecap.com, players’ reps can negotiate with their current team up until the Match 7th, which is when they can officially open it up to other clubs.
If the team can get a cap-friendly deal in place with Berry before March 7th, it allows them to concentrate on possibly bringing back Dontari Poe. This year more than others, timing is critical.
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