As a casualty of the Tyrann Mathieu signing, longtime Chiefs safety Eric Berry has been released by the team after a nine-year run in Kansas City that included five Pro Bowls, three first-team All-Pro selections, and one Comeback Player of the Year award.
The decision could not have been an easy one, emotionally speaking, given how much Berry has meant to the team and its fan base over the years.
Thomas simply asked Jason Garrett to bring him to Big D. Dallas tried to abide by those wishes as they engaged in trade talks with Seattle but nothing came to fruition.
"I'd like to thank Eric for his contributions to our team and the Kansas City community over the last nine years", Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid said in a release. "He will always be an important part of our Chiefs family, and we wish him nothing but the best in the future". Of the Chiefs' last 34 games, counting the playoffs, Berry participated in just three. Then it picked up steam once Spagnuolo examined the personnel and decided that numerous pieces did not fit with his preferred 4-3 system.More news: School board welcomes class cellphone ban if it allows some teaching use
The move to release Berry comes on the heels of the Chiefs releasing linebackers Justin Houston and Dee Ford. Multiple outlets are reporting the five-time Pro Bowler is being designated as a post-June 1 cut, which would save the Chiefs around $9.5 million in salary cap space this year and $5.5 million next year.
Even a former Chiefs CB let the world know the type of person that Berry is.
He helped the Chiefs win an elusive AFC West title as a rookie in 2010 with a team-high four interceptions and 87 tackles - second only to Derrick Johnson that season. He tore his ACL in the first quarter of the opener, ending his season.
He struggled in coverage when he returned to the field in 2012 during a miserable 2-14 season under Romeo Crennel. Other times when he wasn't available to play he encouraged his teammates with his tutelage and passion for the game. Sadly, his career was halted when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma back in December of 2014. That was the first of four seasons in which Berry missed nearly an entire season. He was also given a huge extension with the Chiefs in 2017, but a torn Achilles shut that season quickly.More news: Real Madrid secure Sh5.6 billion Brazil star from Porto - club
After missing the AFC Divisional round victory against the Indianapolis Colts, Berry played in the Chiefs' overtime loss against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game - which turned out to be his final game. He's an Ed Block Courage Award recipient as well as an AP Comeback Player of the Year victor.
The move clears $9.55 million from the salary cap this season, but the Chiefs won't see the bulk of that savings until June 2 under National Football League collective bargaining rules.
By releasing Berry, the Chiefs don't have to pay him an additional $7.25 million that would have become guaranteed by Friday.More news: Pizza Pizza is offering $3.14 pizzas March 14 only