A year ago, the Chiefs franchise-tagged star safety Eric Berry and never came close to completing a long-term contract.
But after Berry delivered another All-Pro season, the negotiations took a different turn this year. General manager John Dorsey explained Thursday how the two sides agreed on a six-year, $78 million package.
“The funny thing about that is, you might look at it as ‘getting the deal done now’ but that whole process has been going on now for almost a year-plus, maybe,” Dorsey said. “The beauty of it is: First off, a deal of this magnitude does not unfold unless you have the blessing of ownership. That’s first and foremost. The good thing about it is, Eric’s representatives were in town that Sunday, so what I decided it was best for us to do was all sit down as a group on Monday.
“We sat down for 10 hours as a group and we heard his side of it, myself, Trip MacCracken and Brandt Tilis. We sat down and heard their sides of it. We did a 10-hour face-to-face negotiation, which I think is very helpful.”
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At the end of the day, they came to an agreement that made Berry the highest-paid safety in the NFL.
“I think that when you do a deal of this magnitude, it symbolizes what he is, what he means to the organization and what kind of leader he is within the building,” Dorsey said. “He is a very beloved figure in Kansas City and will be here for a long time.”
After taking care of the contract, Dorsey then sped off to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis to conduct more business.
“The most exciting part of the whole thing was not only that we got Eric Berry done, but that I was able to grab my bag, rush to the car, get to the airport and make my 8:25 Southwest direct flight to Indianapolis and here I am,” Dorsey said with a laugh.
Speaking of this year’s draft, Dorsey said this crop has depth at receiver, running back and cornerback. That bodes well for the Chiefs, who have 10 draft picks this year and could use quality depth, particularly at the latter two positions.