The Kansas City Chiefs and Eric Berry have been in a contract dispute for over a year and it doesn’t appear to be any closer to a resolution.
Eric Berry has publicly said several times that he will not play under the franchise tag for a second year. He wants a long-term contract that will offer him more stability than the 1-year guarentee offered by the franchise tag.
The Chiefs are in a tough situation where they don’t have the salary cap flexibility to keep all their important players under contract. This year alone, they will be negotiating with Berry and nose tackle Dontari Poe.
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Kansas City obiviously wants to keep Berry on the roster as it will be difficult to replace his production. However, the 2017 NFL Draft offers more than a handful of safety prospects capable of helping the Chiefs overcome the loss of Berry.
The top of the draft has LSU’s Jamal Adams and Ohio State’s Malik Hooker. Both will likely be off the board before the Chiefs are on the clock. This means they’d likely have to orchestrate a trade in order to land either one of these players.
Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers is someone who could be on the board when the Chiefs pick. He’d be a good fit as someone with the ability to support the run, hold up in coverage and provide help in the return game.
Alabama’s Eddie Jackson is a potential option in the second round thanks to his mid-season injury. Jackson is an experienced and highly productive player who still has a shot to sneak into the 1st round mix.
Either way, the Chiefs may not have a better chance to find a long-term replacement for Berry than the 2017 NFL Draft.