The best Kansas City Chiefs team in a decade faces an uncertain future with so many defensive stars in need of new contracts.

Safety Eric Berry, cornerback Sean Smith, linebacker Derrick Johnson, edge rusher Tamba Hali and defensive tackle Jaye Howard are scheduled to reach free agency in March.

Toward that end, the Chiefs are ramping up talks on a new contract for Berry, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday.

There wasn’t a better story in the league last season than Berry’s successful return from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The 27-year-old strong safety earned his fourth Pro Bowl selection, regaining pre-injury form on a defense that ranked at or near the top in several categories over the second half of the 2015 season.

If Berry beats out Carson Palmer for Comeback Player of the Year honors at Saturday night’s NFL Honors awards show, he will become just the fourth defensive star to do so — joining Lyle Alzado (1982), Bryant Young (1999) and Joe Johnson (2000).

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