The Kansas City Chiefs have reached a six-year, $78 million deal with Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry that includes $40 million guaranteed and a $20 million signing bonus, a source confirmed to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Tuesday.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, it would be the most guaranteed money for any current safety contract. The NFL Network first reported the agreement between Berry and the Chiefs. Berry will earn $30 million in the first two years of the deal, a source told ESPN’s Adam Caplan.
The Chiefs announced the signing Tuesday but did not disclose financial terms of the contract.
“Keeping Eric Berry in a Chiefs uniform long term has been a significant goal of ours,” said Chiefs general manager John Dorsey. “He’s a special football player and an incredible person. We’re thrilled we were able to get this deal done.”
“I’m very happy for Eric and his family,” added Chiefs coach Andy Reid. “He has put in the hard work and preparation and is without question one of the backbones of our defense and a team leader. He’s a special player and an exceptional human being.”
Berry, 28, played on the Chiefs’ franchise tender in 2016 and had perhaps the best season of his seven-year NFL career.
He delivered a number of big plays that helped the Chiefs win close games. None was bigger than an interception late in the fourth quarter on a two-point conversion attempt that Berry returned for a score; those two points were crucial in lifting Kansas City to a 29-28 win at Atlanta in Week 13.
Big plays aside, Berry was a solid player against both the run and pass. The Chiefs used Berry in a variety of roles, sometimes as a deep safety and sometimes lined up close to the line of scrimmage, and he was equally effective in either role. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Chiefs allowed the third-lowest completion percentage on passes thrown 15 yards or more downfield last season.
Berry tied his career high with four interceptions and returned two for touchdowns to tie for the NFL lead in that category. He earned the fifth Pro Bowl selection of his career.
Off the field, Berry was a positive voice in Kansas City’s locker room and an inspiration to many of his teammates. Berry was diagnosed with lymphoma in November 2014 but returned to play by the start of the 2015 season and was named the AP Comeback Player of the Year.