Overview: Eric Berry has been one of the best safeties in football for sometime now. He has the playmaking ability and range to play free safety, but normally plays strong safety as he also comes with the physical toughness to get dirty in run defense. He may be the best all around safety in all of football. The 28 year old has spent his entire seven year career in Kansas City and has five Pro Bowls, three All-Pro nominations, and a Comeback Player of the Year award to show for it. Berry is as tough as they come - he survived a bout with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2014 and returned to the field to continue his dominance soon after. He's been a leader on one of the best defenses for the last half decade plus and shows no signs of slowing down. In his seven years he's racked up 365 tackles, 50 passes defended, 14 interceptions, and 5 touchdowns. He played last year under the Franchise Tag and is set to be a free agent once March rolls around.
Pros: Berry is in the ideal age range for a free agent and he won't turn 30 until December of 2019. He's in the prime of his career and as I stated earlier he has the ability to play either safety position with ease and will bring the ability to make game changing plays wherever he lands. Berry has publicly stated that he has no interest in playing another season under the franchise tag, so it appears that the Chiefs will need to offer a pricey long term deal if they hope to retain their defensive leader. If that offer doesn't come or isn't to Berry's liking then he will be free to sign anywhere he chooses.
Cons: Berry will cost a TON of cash. He's likely to make over $12 million per year and in all likelihood will become the highest paid safety in football. He'll also be one of the most sought after free agents in recent memory, which will make it much more difficult to sign him. Welp, that's about it. Berry is a freak of nature in the defensive backfield and will automatically add credibility, skill, and leadership wherever he lands.
A fit for the Jaguars? YEP! Berry will be looking to land a mega deal, perhaps the richest in NFL history for a safety. Who has the cap room to get such a deal done? The Jaguars! Now this isn't as cut and dry as it seems. The Chiefs aren't likely to let Berry go without a fight and there will be other suitors. Plus the Jaguars have a free agent strong safety of their own. John Cyprien is coming off of his best season as a pro and ranked #7 amongst all safeties during 2016 according to Pro Football Focus. Cyprien is a box safety through and through and he doesn't really provide big play ability or give you anything in coverage, but the Jaguars still may consider signing their former second round pick to his second contract in the NFL. If the Jaguars do resign Cyprien then Berry is likely off the table. But if the Jaguars are anything like me they will see a shiny Ferrari (Eric Berry) for sale and ditch their four year old sedan (John Cyprien). The combination of Eric Berry and Jalen Ramsey in a defensive backfield would be the things of nightmares for offensive coordinators. Now, some may ask if he fits the Jaguars scheme? Well, right now it's unclear what scheme the Jags will be running, but it's safe to say that Berry fits in any and every scheme possible -- he's just that good.
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