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Where's Eric Berry And Why Wasn't He At The Voluntary OTA's?

The Chiefs Made Him The Highest Paid Safety In The NFL This Offseason

Brad Fanning
May 27, 2017 - 3:28 pm

The Chiefs wrapped up their first 3-days of Voluntary OTA’s (Organized Team Activity) this week.  Players don’t have to be there.  OTA’s consist of meetings, roughly 90-minutes of practices in shorts and helmets each of the three days and more meetings. 

And I repeat, players don’t have to be there.  They are voluntary.

But the Chiefs best defensive players chose to voluntarily not be there.  Captain and All-Pro safety Eric Berry, linebacker Justin Houston and cornerback Marcus Peters.

I’ve been extremely vocal in my disgust with the way the Chiefs handled Houston’s knee injury over the last season and a half.  Despite the fact he was awarded a deal for $101-million, I can understand Houston skipping voluntary OTA’s.  I think he’s still pretty sour and I don’t blame him.  I’ll give him a pass.

Peters, one of the best young corners in the NFL, seems to be trying to make a point by being a no-show.  He wants a new contract, even though he won’t be eligible for a new deal until after the season.  So, him being MIA for the first set of OTA’s could be a way to get the attention of management and ownership.  Careers in the NFL are short and contracts are not guaranteed. As Bob Sugar told Jerry McGuire, “It’s not show friends, it’s show business.”  Peters gets a pass too. 

But it’s Berry that I don’t understand.

The Chiefs, rightfully so, made Berry a very wealthy man this offseason when they gave him a contract for 6-years and $78-million.  When pressed about Berry’s absence head coach Andy Reid said he had a pretty good idea Berry wouldn’t be there, but stopped short of saying he received a phone call or any direct communication confirming that Berry would voluntarily be absent. 

Voluntary my a$$.  He got paid.  He’s a leader.  He needed to be there or let his coach know why he wasn’t. 

Berry is clearly a man of high character.  He’s probably going to be in the ring of honor someday.  Nobody questions his ability as a player.  He’s one of the best in the game.  The Chiefs gave him what he wanted. They “paid the man.” 

He’s clearly the leader of this football team.  Where was he and why didn’t he reach out to his head coach? That’s unacceptable.  That’s not being a leader.  That’s being a distraction.  That’s not the Eric Berry we have come to know.

Andy Reid's presser from the first week of OTA's:

05/25 - Andy Reid

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