The Kansas City Chiefs made a surprising move right after the start of the 2019 NFL new year. Shortly following the clock striking 4 p.m. EST, there was another quality safety added to the free agency pool. The Chiefs parted ways with talented Pro Bowler Eric Berry in a move which seemed to be a cost-saving decision.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter was the first to report the news, and Berry is on his way out of town just two years into his five-year, $78 million contract.
There are bound to be a number of suitors for Berry, and this decision likely stemmed from the agreement with Tyrann Mathieu, which will pay him $42 million over three seasons. We’re going to take a look at a few of the top potential landing spots for Berry, who’s 30 years old but playing at a very high level.
Depending on the cost of a potential deal, the Dallas Cowboys could be in the mix. They missed on Earl Thomas after deciding not to increase their offer. In turn, this led to him signing a deal with the Baltimore Ravens. Safety remains a key area of concern for the Cowboys, and adding a playmaker like Berry would be a wise move.
Dallas has been virtually silent through the early stages of the NFL’s legal tampering period, but that could ramp up sooner than later with the league year now underway. The Cowboys have a number of needs spread across the roster, but they don’t seem likely to spend big on most of them. In turn, the price tag on a deal for Berry could be a big factor.
San Francisco 49ers
Another team linked to Thomas, along with a number of other free-agent safeties is the San Francisco 49ers. If their consolation prize to missing out on Thomas and the multiple other names on the free agency board is Berry, that’d be a great outlook overall for John Lynch and company.
The 49ers added linebacker Kwon Alexander on a four-year, $54 million deal with $14.25 million guaranteed at signing and $27.5 million in injury guarantees, per Spotrac. This was a big addition for the team, but adding Berry could push their defensive outlook to the next level.
There were rumblings that the Browns would jump into the mix for Thomas before he was signed by the Ravens. This came after the team traded Jabril Peppers to the New York Giants in their deal for Odell Beckham Jr. so they could potentially target a new name. But even going beyond that, the Browns have an interesting connection to Berry in general manager John Dorsey.
With that said, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen did report that the Browns were not looking at Thomas due to the fact that Dorsey “loves” Damarious Randall.
The Browns have made their fair share of splashes to this point in the offseason, and there’s no question that Dorsey and company are more than willing to make more noise. Cleveland is officially in “win now” mode, so things could get interesting with a number of players.