After skipping out on all of training camp, it looks like Eric Berry is finally ready to return to Kansas City. According to ESPN.com, the Pro Bowl safety is expected to report to the Chiefs‘ practice facility on Sunday, ending a long absence.
Berry made the decision not to report to camp after he was unable to work out a long-term deal with the Chiefs.
The 27-year-old was hit with the franchise tag back in March, and the two sides had until July 15 to workout a new deal. When that didn’t happen, Berry refused to sign his franchise tender, which means he technically wasn’t part of the team. That loophole allowed him to skip training camp without being fined.
If Berry reports and signs his franchise tender, he’ll immediately be guaranteed a total of $10,806 million for the 2016 season.
Although Berry has yet to practice, that doesn’t seem a problem for Chiefs coach Andy Reid. Reid told PFT Live on Friday that Berry will be the Week 1 starter if he shows up.
“Eric’s one of our good players and he’s in the business side of it right now,” Reid said. “This is all part of the profession, so I get it. But I also know when he comes in he’s going to be in great shape, he’ll be able to get himself back before the first game and be ready to go because that’s the way he trains in the offseason and the kind of shape he keeps himself in.”
Berry’s coming off a 2015 season that was one of the most memorable in NFL history. The safety earned a Pro Bowl berth just one year after being diagnosed with cancer. Back in November 2014, Berry was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Although he missed the final five games of the 2014 season, he ended up returning in 2015 and playing in all 16 games for the Chiefs.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / The Chiefs’ franchise player finally expected to report to Kansas City