Eric Berry and the Chiefs are headed for a showdown

Berry said he will not play under the franchise tag in 2017, even though Kansas City is expected to use the tag on the Pro Bowl safety for the second year in a row.

Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry played under the franchise tag last season, and he wasn’t happy about it. He’ll probably get tagged again this year, setting up a showdown that could keep him off the field in 2017.

Berry and his agent are working to negotiate a long-term deal with the Chiefs, but Berry says he isn’t getting his “hopes up” for that contract to materialize. He thought the opportunity existed for him to secure a long-term deal with the Chiefs prior to last season, and it didn’t happen.

“I’m going to keep being patient because you never know,” Berry said. “Last year I thought one thing and it didn’t happen. So I’m not getting my hopes up; I’m looking at it logically.”

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the team hopes to get a deal done before Wednesday’s deadline:

Berry told the Kansas City Star at the Super Bowl that he will not play under the franchise tag in 2017 if the Chiefs use it on him again. On Sunday, Berry confirmed that his perspective on that hasn’t changed.

“I still stand firm on that,” Berry said, via the Star’s Terez Paylor.

Despite his dissatisfaction with playing under the $ 10.8 million tag last season, Berry turned in an All-Pro performance, earning his fifth Pro Bowl nod.

Berry finished the season second on the team with 77 tackles, and he contributed four interceptions, two of which he returned for scores. Berry was so important to the defensive success last season that Kansas City named him its MVP for 2016.

But the Chiefs also have a decision to make about nose tackle Dontari Poe, who is also fundamentally important to the defense and is set to become a free agent in March. A report Monday morning said that the Chiefs will tag Berry and let Poe walk. The team has until Wednesday to decide whether or not to apply the franchise tag to Poe or Berry.

In the meantime, Kansas City is working toward a long-term deal for Berry.

“The conversation is ongoing, and I think the good news is both the organization and the player want to get it done,” Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said. “It’s just a matter of finding the middle ground that works for both parties at this point.”

But what isn’t going to work for Berry is playing under the $ 12.96 million tag this season. – All Posts