Are the Cleveland Browns trying to trade for Chiefs SS Eric Berry?
The Cleveland Browns are in the market for a safety after trading Jabrill Peppers, and they could be attempting to trade for Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry.
Following the trade of Jabrill Peppers to the New York Giants, the Cleveland Browns are looking for Peppers’ replacement at strong safety.
Cleveland was rumored to be interested in signing free agent safety Earl Thomas, but NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Wednesday that Thomas will not be signing with the Browns.
However, the Browns may have their eyes on another former All-Pro safety. According to USA Today’s Art Stapleton, he is hearing the Browns may be attempting to trade for Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Eric Berry.
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The idea makes a lot of sense considering Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey was the Chiefs general manager for three and a half years. He is familiar with Berry and knows what the 30-year-old could bring to the Browns defense.
Berry could be on his way out of Kansas City after the Chiefs agreed to terms with Tyrann Mathieu on a three-year. $42 million deal. The Chiefs have received little production from Berry the last two seasons because of injuries. He signed a six-year, $78 million contract extension in 2017.
Berry tore his Achilles in the 2017 season opener and missed the rest of the 2017 season. Heel issues continued to hinder Berry into 2018 and kept him out of the Kansas City lineup until their Week 15 game last season. Berry played three games in 2018, including one playoff game, and made 16 total tackles.
In Berry’s last full season in 2016, he made 77 total tackles, two tackles for loss, four interceptions (including two returned for touchdowns), and nine passes defended. He was named a first-team All-Pro that season.
The Browns will be looking to find a strong safety to replace Peppers. In the Browns defense, Peppers played more often in the box and covering the nickel instead of playing as the deep safety.
Berry would match what the Browns are looking for in a safety to replace Peppers. When he is healthy, Berry is an elite play-maker that is one of the best safeties in the league. However, the question is if Berry will ever be healthy enough to play like his former self.
Because of his connections to the Chiefs, it would make a lot of sense if Dorsey called Kansas City about Berry’s availability. Due to his injuries, age, and large contract, Berry may not have much trade value. But with the Browns need for a safety, it is worth exploring if the Chiefs are willing to move him.