Chiefs make Eric Berry the NFL’s highest-paid safety with six-year extension

Eric Berry said earlier this month that he would sit out the 2017 season if he was franchise tagged by the Kansas City Chiefs. Fortunately for both sides, it won’t come to that.

The Chiefs signed Berry to a six-year, $78 million extension with $40 million guaranteed. The deal makes him the highest-paid safety in the NFL at $13 million per year, edging Arizona’s Tyrann Mathieu, who makes $12.5 million per year.

Berry put together arguably his best season as a pro in 2016. He racked up 77 tackles with a career-high four interceptions and one forced fumble. The biggest change he made to his game was showing that he could not only thrive as a strong safety but cover in the deep middle of the field as a free safety.

His versatility was a huge reason the Chiefs’ defense was as good as it was this season, and he single-handedly won a game against the Falcons with a pick-six and a game-winning pick-two on Atlanta’s two-point conversion attempt.

Berry was the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year following the 2015 season after beating cancer the year before.