Kansas City Chiefs release VFL Eric Berry

Eric Berry was a five-time Pro Bowler and a three-time All Pro with the Chiefs. AP

The Kansas City Chiefs announced Wednesday that they have released safety Eric Berry after nine seasons with the team.

"I'd like to thank Eric for his contributions to our team and the Kansas City community over the last nine years", Chiefs coach Andy Reid said.

His teammate, Jeff Allen, wrote on Twitter, "I don't think I've ever played with someone that loves the game of football as much as Eric Berry". "He's a special person, and we wish him the best as his career moves forward".

The move comes with the team set to add Tyrann Mathieu, who agreed to a three-year, $42 million contract this week. Carolina's four-time Pro Bowl right guard Trai Turner wants Berry, for one. And his final two seasons were derailed by nagging injuries. It also marks the end of an error following the release of linebackers Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali last season, and linebacker Justin Houston this season. Then it picked up steam once Spagnuolo examined the personnel and decided that numerous pieces did not fit with his preferred 4-3 system.

During his second season, Berry suffered a torn ACL in the season opener and missed the rest of the season. He was the comeback player of the year in 2015 after recovering from Hodgkin's lymphoma.

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The Atlanta native also amassed 77 tackles with a forced fumble a returned a two-point conversion interception for the game-winning points in a homecoming game against the Falcons.

If Berry can return healthy to the field, he will be a nice addition for any team in need of strong leadership and dynamic play in the secondary.

The move clears $9.55 million from the salary cap this season, but the Chiefs won't see the bulk of that savings until June 2 under National Football League collective bargaining rules.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Chiefs cut Berry before $7.25 million of his 2019 salary became fully guaranteed on Friday.

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