Eric Berry’s holdout is over. The Chiefs safety is signing his franchise tender and will return to practice Monday, the team announced Sunday.
“He’s in great shape,” said coach Andy Reid. “It’s great to have him here.”
Clearly, Berry’s arrival is good news for the Chiefs. After beating cancer last year, Berry returned to the field and helped lead the seventh-ranked Chiefs defense by recording two interceptions and 61 combined tackles. He ended up in the Pro Bowl, earned First Team All-Pro honors, and won Comeback Player of the Year.
Once the Chiefs’ season ended in the divisional round of the playoffs, most figured they would find a way to reward Berry with a new contract. Both sides even expressed their interest in staying together for the long-term. However, they were unable to come to an agreement and the team hit Berry, 27, with the franchise tag.
“This is business and, boy, did the Chiefs stick to business on this one,” NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo said at the time. “They weren’t just about to hand this guy a deal in which they felt they were going to be overpaying because of everything that he went through. This was hard negotiating at times and, in fact, we had a couple of sources … tell us that during negotiations the Chiefs wanted Berry to pay for a disability insurance policy that would have named the team as a beneficiary. Given everything that he’s been through, that didn’t go over so well.”
Berry refused to sign the tender and stayed away from training camp. On Monday, he’ll finally rejoin the team and play under a $10.8 million one-year deal.
“It’s good to have him back,” Reid said. “He’s got a smile on his face and he’s ready to go. His hair is a little longer, but other than that, he’s ready to go.”
According to Reid, Berry probably won’t play in the team’s fourth preseason game Thursday, which means he might not make his debut until the team hosts the Chargers to begin the regular season.
Source: CBS Sports / Eric Berry finally signs franchise tender, will return to Chiefs practice