Chiefs GM John Dorsey calls Eric Berry, Dontari Poe negotiations positive

Dorsey points to scenarios where Chiefs can keep both veteran free agents in 2017

KANSAS CITY,  Mo. — The future of Eric Berry looms as the largest question for the Kansas City Chiefs offseason, but general manager Johnson Dorsey called negotiations with the All-Pro safety and his agent positive thus far.

Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry returned an interception for a touchdown and returned an interception on a two-point conversion for a defensive score in the team's 29-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Dec. 4, 2016. (Photo courtesy Chiefs PR, Chiefs.com)

Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry returned an interception for a touchdown and returned an interception on a two-point conversion for a defensive score in the team’s 29-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Dec. 4, 2016. (Photo courtesy Chiefs PR, Chiefs.com)

“I will say from my perspective, we’ve had very positive, very positive conversations with his representatives,” Dorsey said during a conference call.

Berry played last season under the franchise tag contract of $10.8 million. A second franchise tag on Berry bumps that number to nearly $13 million, but the 28-year-old Pro Bowler said he won’t play the 2017 under the franchise tag.

“I’m definitely not going to play under a franchise tag this year,” Berry said during an appearance on the the NFL Network last week.

Dorsey showed little concern at Berry’s comments.

“I know when I deal with Eric’s representatives and I feel good and positive, and I think his representative feels positive, I think it’s positive for everybody moving forward.”

The general manager expressed similarly optimism regarding negotiations with defensive tackle Dontari Poe and his agent.

“Kind of like with Eric’s representative, I can say to you we’ve had very good conversation with Dontari Poe’s representatives, and we will continue to moving forward in the process,” Dorsey said.

Poe just concluded the final year of his rookie contract that paid out $17.47 million over five seasons. The franchise tag for defensive tackle expects to range between $13 million to $14 million for the 2017 season.

Dorsey said Berry and Poe do not pose an either-or decision for the team, and there are ways the Chiefs can keep both veteran free agents.

“There’s ways to work through that,” Dorsey said. “We have built in scenarios trying to account for every type of situation that may be presented to us as we move forward here.”

Resolving Berry’s contract status, however, impacts much of the team’s offseason preparations, including the draft and free agency period. Dorsey

“I think everybody can understand that there comes a time when two sides can come together and mesh this thing out,” Dorsey explained, “and that question will be answered and time to move on to the next one on the checklist.”

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Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.

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