NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that the Pro Bowl backstop has agreed to a new deal with Kansas City worth $78 million over six years with $40 million in guarantees, per sources.
That left Berry, 28, to play under the franchise tag, something the seven-year safety had no plans of repeating in 2017, saying earlier this month: “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.”
As recently as Sunday, Berry told The Kansas City Star he was “going to keep being patient” for a new pact, an approach that paid off in time for the Chiefs to seal up their star safety before likely using the tag on defensive tackle Dontari Poe.
It’s a win for the Chiefs, a team now in position to keep two of their finest players on defense. Berry was phenomenal last season, nabbing All-Pro honors and finishing the year as the league’s eighth-ranked safety, per Pro Football Focus.
Berry’s stellar play over 16 starts only added to his remarkable return from Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which wiped out his 2014 season before he roared back to win Comeback Player of the Year honors in 2015.
Today, Berry is fully healthy and wholly dominant on the field, making Tuesday’s deal a coup for both the player and his Super Bowl-hopeful team.