The Kansas City Chiefs have released veteran safety Eric Berry, the team announced on Wednesday.
Berry, 30, spent nine seasons in Kansas City after being drafted by the Chiefs with the fifth-overall pick in the 2010 draft. During that span, Berry played in 89 games and earned five trips to the Pro Bowl.
"On behalf of my family and the entire Chiefs organization, I want to thank Eric for his many contributions to the Chiefs over the last nine seasons,” Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said. “Eric has been a tremendous leader for our football team and an inspiration to so many fans over the years, and we sincerely appreciate all that he has meant to the Chiefs. He will always be an important part of our Chiefs family, and we wish him nothing but the best in the future.”
Following the 2015 season, Berry was named the AP Comeback Player of the Year Award and received the Ed Block Courage Award after overcoming Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Before the Redskins signed safety Landon Collins, Berry was the league's top-paid safety, averaging $13 million per season on a six-year contract he signed in 2017. The Chiefs would have owed Berry $7.25 million if he had been kept on the roster until Friday.
“I’d like to thank Eric for his contributions to our team and the Kansas City community over the last nine years,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “Seeing his passion and watching his love for the game has been truly remarkable. He’s a special person, and we wish him the best as his career moves forward.”
Berry has recorded 440 tackles (372 solo), 5.5 sacks, 14 interceptions (five returned for touchdowns), 51 passes defended, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries during his career.