With Berry reporting next week there is a great chance he plays Week 1 when the Chiefs face the San Diego Chargers. Rapoport reported that Berry is in good shape and “trained like crazy” this offseason.
Coach Andy Reid told NBC Sports Radio on Friday morning he has no concerns about Berry coming in out of shape and expects the safety to start the season on the field.
With 60 appearances but just two starts as a pro, Johnson can’t mask the loss of Berry, who chose not to report to camp after failing to reach a long-term deal with the club prior to the July 15 deadline for franchise-tagged players.
Ron Parker, Jamell Fleming, Daniel Sorensen and cheap jerseys and Stevie Brown have all seen safety snaps during camp, but Johnson gives the club an extra body to use during practice and preseason games. He’s no sure bet to make the team once Berry returns, but the Pro Bowler’s absence has given Johnson another shot at making an NFL roster.
Safety Eric Berry slid out of the first Chiefs locker room to win a division championship since his rookie season of 2010 nonplussed. He’s been to the playoffs three times before. This group won a playoff game together last season. Sunday’s 37-27 victory over the Chargers, which helped clinch a bye and the No. 2 seed in the AFC, was an example of why this Chiefs group can accomplish so much more.
In this Any Given Sunday league, the Chiefs put out nearly the same product every weekend. They have a proven formula, one that makes them one of only three legitimate Super Bowl contenders in the AFC, along with New England and Pittsburgh.
This wasn’t the same Kansas City offense that had been known for its inconsistency earlier this year. This was a unit that suddenly looked explosive and dangerous, especially because it lit up a defense known for stifling its opponents.
“You want to be playing your best football at this time of year and you want to be ascending,” Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith said. “It’s a credit to two things. One is the type of talent we have … We have a lot of guys who can make plays. Then the coaches are doing a great job of putting game plans together to take advantage of all those different abilities. It’s hard in this league to be daring. But on a night like tonight, with everyone watching, you have to do things outside the box.”
For the Chiefs, it’s a flier on a name player, turning 30 in August, who once had game. Andy Reid is a master at finding a role for every player, so if Spiller can prove he’s finally healthy, the Chiefs are a good landing spot for the aging back.
We aren’t holding out hope this signing leads to production this fall. The addition is low-cost insurance for a backfield headlined by Spencer Ware and backup Charcandrick West, both of whom signed deals last season. The big question heading into the new league year is whether the franchise’s all-time leading rusher, Jamaal Charles, will remain with the team — likely not at his current salary. If K.C. moves on from Charles, Spiller has a chance to snag a backup gig.
The Chiefs also currently only have $4.7 million in cap space for 2017, per OverTheCap.com, which could lead to some tough decisions for the K.C. brass to make — the money issues are one reason many believe Jamaal Charles won’t be back next season, certainly not at his current salary.
Potentially losing Berry would be a devastating blow for a Chiefs defense that can be a stingy, dangerous group when healthy. Berry, a playmaker versus the run and the pass, keys the entire unit. The back-to-back first-team All-Pro safety displayed his difference-making ability with a ridiculously good game in a win over the Super Bowl-bound Atlanta Falcons in Week 13.