Gregory Payan/Associated Press
Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt issued a statement on the move:
“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. 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.”
When nothing materialized at the start of the new league year at 4 p.m. ET, the Chiefs made the decision to part ways with Berry. The 30-year-old signed a six-year extension with $40 million guaranteed in February 2017.
Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, one reason for the Chiefs to act swiftly with Berry is that a significant portion of money would have been owed to him Friday:
Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter
Chiefs released five-time Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry. Had Berry been on KC’s roster Friday, $7.25 million of his salary would have become fully guaranteed.
The Chiefs found a replacement for Berry when they agreed to a three-year deal with Tyrann Mathieu, Schefter reported Monday.
Injuries have limited Berry to three games since 2017. He last played a full 16-game schedule in 2016, recording 77 combined tackles and four interceptions to help Kansas City win the AFC West for the first time in six years.