Eric Berry‘s 2015 and 2016 seasons were very special. The Chiefs safety was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in December 2014, battled and beat the disease, and had back-to-back Pro Bowl and All-Pro seasons.
Berry was up for a new contract after the first of those campaigns, but the Chiefs elected to use the franchise tag on him for the 2016 season. He played this season on the tag, which paid just over $10.8 million.
The safety refuses to play next season on the tag.
“I’m definitely not going to play under the franchise tag this year,” Berry said, per NFL.com. “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, 28, is still one of the best safeties in all of football. He’s now two full seasons removed from his battle with lymphoma and wants to be compensated as a fully healthy star player. That seems like an entirely reasonable stance to take.
The Chiefs no doubt want to keep him in Kansas City for the rest of his career, but it will be interesting to see how these negotiations play out.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Eric Berry says he’s ‘definitely not going to play under the franchise tag’ in 2017