The Kansas City Chiefs announced on Wednesday that the club has released safety Eric Berry. "Seeing his passion and watching his love for the game has been truly remarkable. He will always be an important part of our Chiefs family, and we wish him nothing but the best in the future".
The move comes following Kansas City's agreement with Tyrann Mathieu on a three-year, $42 million contract. The 6-foot, 210-pounder, who was originally the fifth pick in the 2010 National Football League draft out of Tennessee, has been named All-Pro three times and to the Pro Bowl five times during his nine-year tenure with the team.
Berry originally entered the NFL as the fifth-overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Chiefs.
The move is the latest in an offseason defensive overhaul for the Chiefs, who fired Bob Sutton within days of an AFC Championship Game. Then it picked up steam once Spagnuolo examined the personnel and decided that numerous pieces did not fit with his preferred 4-3 system.
Chiefs brass paid tribute to Berry in a series of statements accompanying the announcement of his release. He made the Pro Bowl in his rookie season. He was the comeback player of the year in 2015 after recovering from Hodgkin's lymphoma. The Chiefs would have owed Berry $7.25 million if he had been kept on the roster until Friday.
Berry also missed 10 games during the 2014 season when he was diagnosed with cancer, but he became a motivation to many when he concluded treatment and was back on the field the following summer.
In Berry's next season, a trend of health-related problems started for the All-Pro safety.