Chiefs safety Eric Berry is generally considered one of the best -- if not the best -- in the NFL at his position.
Now, the 28-year-old wants the long-term security that comes with such a lofty status.
The veteran is coming off another Pro Bowl season in which he logged 77 tackles, four interceptions and two defensive touchdowns to help Kansas City win the AFC West with a 12-4 mark.
Berry played under the franchise tag, which paid him a guaranteed $10.8 million. Although he has repeatedly stated he has no desire to play another season as a franchised player, the Chiefs could do and the player would again receive a handsome salary,t his time nearly $13 million.
The club could apply the franchise tag to prevent Berry from hitting the free-agent market, then work out a long-term deal before the season hits. This appears to be the likely scenario, but other options remain in play.
Sportsbook BookMaker.eu has odds on five specific landing spots for Berry, with the Chiefs favored at +140 (bet $100 to win $140). SportsLine analyst Larry Hartstein, who specializes in NFL handicapping, anticipates this is the safest bet.
"Berry is threatening to sit out if he gets tagged again, but I don't think he'll have to,? Hartstein said. ?He means too much to the Chiefs on and off the field for (owner and CE) Clark Hunt not to pay him top dollar. True, KC could lose Dontari Poe if they overpay for Berry. I still think they get it done with Berry and take their chances on the D-line if Poe walks."
Bettors willing to take a chance on a longshot could receive a big payback should Berry suit up in another uniform next season. Odds on other teams are as follows:
Jaguars, +900 (bet $100 to win $900)
Browns, +1,000 (bet $100 to win $1,000)
Bears, +1,400 (bet $100 to win $1,400)
Falcons, +1,600 (bet $100 to win $1,600)
Field (all other teams), +105 (bet $100 to win $105)
Bookmaker's price on the field suggests the player is essentially favored to land on one of the 27 NFL clubs that are not assigned specific odds for this wager.