I spotted this on NFL Network this week:
Eric Berry, at least according to Mike Garafolo, is interested in coming back to play in the NFL after taking a voluntary one-year ‘sabbatical’ in 2019.
Berry is a free agent, not under contract to any team, after playing 9 seasons with the Chiefs, but only seeing the field for 3 regular season games in the last two seasons that he played.
This, according to CBS.com is why he sat out 2019 despite receiving offers to play:
The 31-year-old wanted to take the time off to physically and mentally get himself in better shape, Garafolo reports, to have a more impactful career going forward.
Berry has turned in a rather productive career when he’s on the field, but his tenure in the league has come with its fair share of obstacles. Of course, the former No. 5 pick by the Chiefs in the 2010 NFL Draft was was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and was placed on the non-football injury list back in 2014. He was declared cancer free about nine months later and was able to play in all 16 regular season games in 2015, which earned him NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors.
More recently, Berry has been plagued by an Achilles injury that has only allowed him to play in five games since the start of the 2017 season. That was particularly rough timing for Berry and the Chiefs after the two sides just came to an agreement on a six-year, $78 million contract that made him the highest-paid safety in the league in February of 2017. Just a few months later in the opener against New England, Berry ruptured his Achilles in the fourth quarter, ending his season and putting the wheels in motion for his end in Kansas City. He returned in Week 15 of the 2018 season and played four games (two playoff contests) with the Chiefs before they were eliminated in the AFC Championship. He was released the following March.
Mike Garafolo says that Berry is now healthy, mentally strong and emotionally ready to re-join the NFL.
Berry came to prominence around the NFL when he was diagnosed with cancer in 2014, interrupting a promising young career. When he returned to play, it was amid reports that he had continued to work out throughout his treatments for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and that his dedication to football was second-to-none.
In his last full season played in 2016, Berry had 4 interceptions and 62 tackles. As a free agent in 2017, he was considered among the best veteran prospects available, but decided to re-sign with Kansas City, where he had spent his entire career.
At this point, it would seem likely that money would not be Berry’s primary driving motivation. He has already earned over $90m in his career. Likely, he would be motivated to join a team where he has a good chance of seeing the field each week. That description seems to fit the Redskins, who are in need of upgraded play at free safety, and who have more roster holes than they can reasonably address in this year’s draft.
The Redskins need to rely on free agency to fill a number of roster spots. Eric Berry is not only likely to be willing to sign a low-cost one-year contract, he is not under contract anywhere at the moment, and could be signed immediately by any team that is interested.
Should the Redskins try to sign 31-year-old Eric Berry to a one-year contract for 2020?
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