Eric Berry was once considered the best safety in the NFL just 2 seasons ago. After a 2017 Achilles tear, and then a heel injury in 2018, the injury bug has forced the Chiefs to release the former All-Pro. He is still available on the Free Agent market in May. There will be interest when training camp begins. Here are the top 5 destinations for Berry.
1. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys were thought by many to take a safety with their first pick, which was in the second round. They were also predicted to the front-runners for other All-Pro safety Earl Thomas. They did not address the safety position as much as fans hoped. Jeff Heath is right now projected to start at strong safety. Eric Berry would be a great upgrade. With many expiring contracts, Cowboys should want to go all in on a Super Bowl run in 2019. Eric Berry would give them a coverage specialist on the back end of their defense Which proved last season to be one of the top units in the league. Adding Berry would make them better and provide, at worst, a really good stop gap until they find a new franchise safety alongside Xavier Woods.
2. New England Patriots
Berry could want to sign with a contender. The Patriots are always a Super Bowl Contender with Brady and Belichick still around. The Patriots’ secondary is definitely the stronger part of the defense. With Pro Bowlers like Stephon Gilmore and Devin McCourty back there. Adding Berry would not hurt. Berry has elite coverage ability and will help the Patriots shut down opposing tight ends and some slot receivers. Adding Berry to this secondary with McCourty and Harmon, would allow Patrick Chung to play some more nickel linebacker where I personally believe he will do well in. They do not need Berry, but he would not hurt to bring in if Berry wanted to win a ring.
3. Cleveland Browns
The Browns have made a lot of noise this off-season. Acquiring Odell, Sheldon Richardson, stealing Greedy Williams, Oliver Vernon are just some of the big moves they made. They lost starting safety Jabrill Peppers in the trade that acquired All-Pro receiver Odell Beckham from the Giants. They still have Damarious Randall who had a solid 2018 season playing Free Safety. They also signed veteran safety Morgan Burnett. I still think Berry could come in and play strong safety alongside Randall. Berry could play closer to the line and cover some tight ends and slot receivers. It would make their defense a lot better. Berry is an elite coverage safety and will give some veteran presence to an extremely young team who is looking to make a huge jump in 2019.
4. Seattle Seahawks
Rest in peace to the Legion of Boom. Kam Chancellor was officially let go, Earl Thomas left in Free Agency as well. Bradley McDougald is a solid player, but they now have a hole at their other safety spot. Similar to last season as Earl Thomas missed almost the whole season with a leg injury, and Chancellor did not even come close to seeing the field in 2018. Adding Eric Berry could be a solid stop-gap safety why they try to rebuild their secondary back to its dominance. Berry could play either safety spot for Seattle and help mentor the younger players. Berry would provide a veteran leadership and elite cover safety for a team who can maybe contend for the playoffs.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars had the NFL’s best defense just 2 seasons ago. They took a step back in 2018, and now is expected to take another step back in 2019. Jacksonville just signed QB Nick Foles to a 4-year $88 million deal Showing that they still want to compete and not rebuild. They lost both starting safeties from that elite 2017 defense in Barry Church and Tashaun Gibson. They have rookie Ronnie Harrison expected to start the 2019 season. But that leaves a hole at the other safety spot. Berry could help fill the hole. He can come in an help anchor a secondary that already have elite CB play with Ramsey and Bouye. Adding a veteran like Berry would help this secondary tremendously as they try to get back to the most feared defense like in 2017.