Chiefs release veteran safety Eric Berry after nine seasons with the team

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs announced Wednesday that they have released safety Eric Berry after nine seasons with the team.

Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in a statement that Berry has been a tremendous leader for their football team and an inspiration to so many fans over the years.

“We sincerely appreciate all that he has meant to the Chiefs, Hunt said. “He will always be an important part of our Chiefs family, and we wish him nothing but the best in the future.”

Berry originally entered the NFL as the fifth-overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Chiefs. He played in 89 games from 2010 to 2018, wracking up 440 tackles, 14 interceptions and 51 passes defended.

He tore his Achilles’ tendon in the 2017 opener, sidelining him the rest of the season. He returned in time for summer workouts and the start of training camp. But a mysterious heel injury popped up that kept Berry off the field until Week 15 against the Chargers.

He earned five trips to the Pro Bowl in his time with the Chiefs.

Berry, a three-time All-Pro, was honored with the AP’s Comback Player of the Year Award following the 2015 season after overcoming Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

He also earned the team’s Derrick Thomas Award in 2015 and 2016, given to the team’s most valuable player, voted on by his teammates.

“Seeing his passion and watching his love for the game has been truly remarkable,” Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid said. “He’s a special person, and we wish him the best as his career moves forward.”

Berry’s release is the latest of several moves on defense for the Chiefs.

The team also recently released linebacker Justin Houston, freeing up $21.1 million in their salary cap. The Chiefs are also expected to trade linebacker Dee Ford to the San Francisco 49ers for a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, reports say.

And with free agency starting Wednesday, the Chiefs are expected to sign former Houston Texans safety Tryann Mathieu to sign a three-year, $42 million contract and former Cowboys linebacker Damien Wilson to a two-year, $5.6 million deal, reports say.

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