First, Eric Berry is worth a huge contract based simply on coming back to the NFL after being treated for cancer. There are very few players as respected as Berry around the NFL and around the world.
Secondly, this is probably all for nothing, because the Chiefs will likely franchise Berry rather than franchising Dontari Poe. There are pundits who think that Poe gets the tag, but my money goes on Berry.
Third, any team could be on this list because no team has too many playmakers and Berry definitely qualifies as a playmaker.
The Three Best Teams for Eric Berry
The Dallas defense played well last year, but would simply be better with Eric Berry in the defensive backfield. Berry is not the liability in coverage that some many other safeties are. Barry Church and Byron Jones are serviceable safeties, but neither possess the ball skills that Eric Berry has. Berry is a solid tackler as well. America’s team would do well to kick the tires and see if Berry could fit into their plans.
The Steelers had the 16th ranked pass defense in the NFL in 2016. It doesn’t get much more middle of the road than that. I like Mike Mitchell, but he has been around for almost a decade and the wear is starting to show. This is not a knock—Father Time is undefeated. The defense is getting a little threadbare up the middle as Lawrence Timmons is going to test free agency as well. Having a safety like Berry can cover a lot of weaknesses.
This is a double win for the Raider should they be able to pull this off. First, they would be stealing a player from a division rival, so they get better and the Chiefs get worse. Secondly, the defensive backfield for the Raider has been in shambles. Signing Sean Smith (try to type that three times fast) was a good move, but not a $10 million per year impact. David Amerson showed why Washington moved on from him as the season went on. Karl Joseph will be good, but he is going to need some time and time is the one thing that Reggie Nelson doesn’t have. Most importantly, the defensive backfield needs leadership and that is something that Eric Berry can provide.
Berry is likely to be franchised. It is difficult to imagine the Chiefs letting him walk after the year that he had. If the Chiefs falter, Reggie McKenzie will definitely be on the phone with Berry as soon as the legal tampering period (that is just a stupid name) starts.
Main image credit: