Hello Chiefs Kingdom! Lucas Hampton coming at you again with another Beyond The Border Free Agency! The last time, I gave you a look into some rumors that a fan favorite would be traded away. I presented Tamba Hali to you as a potential option. This time though, we will take a look at another name. A younger more recent addition, Eric Berry. All of Chiefs Kingdom knows who Eric Berry is. Selected 5th overall in the 2010 NFL Draft, Berry was a much needed boost to an abysmal secondary. The Chiefs had just been through 2 years of terrible records. 2008 the season ended at 2-14. 2009 ended at 4-12 on the season. That was better but still not stellar by any means. The previous season, the Chiefs selected defensive end Tyson Jackson 3rd overall. In the 2010 NFL Draft, the Chiefs selected Eric Berry, a safety out of Tennessee at number 5 overall. One interesting thing to note is that the general manager at the time, Scott Pioli, had seemed rather opposed to selecting a safety at such a high draft position.
Let’s take a look at the situation at safety that the Chiefs were in prior to Berry’s drafting. The previous season, Kansas City had Mike Brown and Jarrad Page at the safety spots, with Brown playing strong safety and Page playing free safety. Brown’s contract had expired and Page badly wanted to get out of Kansas City, can’t say I blame him seeing as Scott Pioli was running the organization at the time. Not many of the experts had predicted that Eric Berry would go to the Chiefs. Many mock drafts had Russell Okung going to us at number 5. I can personally recall watching the Draft that year. I sat in anticipation of the Chiefs’ pick getting called out. I watched the screen as Berry picked up his phone and smiled and said “I’m gonna be a Chief baby!” Then Roger Goodell walked on stage and made the pick official.
Eric Berry stands at 6 feet tall and weighs 211 pounds. He perfectly fits the thick and tall mantra that Andy Reid and John Dorsey are pushing in KC’s defense. In his rookie season, Berry played a lot of time in the box with the linebackers. In his entire career, Berry has proven himself one of the best safeties in the NFL and is a freak of nature, able to cover like Darrelle Revis and tackle like JJ Watt. 3 Pro Bowls and 1 All-Pro Selection. Berry has quite the impressive resume. According to Pro Football Focus, Berry graded out better in pass and run coverage than did a recently extended Super Bowl champion safety Earl Thomas. However, Berry was also targeted a lot more than Thomas was. Thomas put up great stats with a much smaller space to work with so to speak. Berry may have to fight really hard if he wants to take back his spot as the best in the league.
Is this reason enough to want to trade him? Hardly! Berry had more targets, more chances to make big plays. He certainly made his fair share. However, there were several times where he got burned pretty badly. Someone with his kind of talent you would think would put up more than 3 interceptions. Granted, 2 of those 3 were returned for touchdowns. Could it have been simply adjusting to the new defense? Was it his increased targets, he sure had to pick up a lot of slack to cover for Kendrick Lewis.
On the other hand, Berry’s immense talent would be enough for any team to keep him around long enough to see if a spot couldn’t be found for him. Recovering from a torn ACL hurt his development and perhaps when the Chiefs take the field next season, we will see a beast mode Eric Berry where no one can stand in his way and he tears opposing offenses apart both with his wrecking ball tackling power or his shutdown coverage.
What teams would want Berry if KC did trade him? Well, remove the Seahawks and Broncos, and then you are left with 28 other teams that would line up to get in on the deal for Berry. He could walk on to any NFL team and find a place on the roster and provide impact. For the sake of all Chiefs Kingdom, if Berry ever dons a jersey that is not the red and gold it had better not be any from the AFC West.
What would we get in return for him? That’s really simple, a first round pick, at the very least. Eric Berry is a top-tier talent. Some teams may even give more than one first round pick, maybe throw in a second round pick or a middle of the road player on top of the first round choice. If I was in charge of a team that wasn’t the Chiefs, I would start with my first round pick and say “What else do you want?” Certainly no one would throw the farm at Berry, but would have to pay a hefty price. Kansas City truly has a very valuable player on its roster.
How likely do I think it is that Berry gets traded this offseason? Little to none. He has too much of an important role on this team to trade him away without a surefire replacement waiting in the wings. Berry looks like a part of the Chiefs’ plans moving forward for years to come.
Thanks for reading Chiefs Kingdom! Who do you think could be traded away? Would it be better for us to hold on to our guys as they are? Thanks again and…