Former Vol Eric Berry will be looking for a new NFL team.
The Kansas City Chiefs announced on Wednesday on its website that the club had released Berry, who played safety for the Chiefs for his entire NFL career.
In his nine years in the league, Berry played in 89 games and racked up 440 tackles (372 solo), 5.5 sacks, and 14 interceptions, five of which were returned for TDs.
“On behalf of my family and the entire Chiefs organization, I want to thank Eric for his many contributions to the Chiefs over the last nine seasons,” Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said. “Eric has been a tremendous leader for our football team and an inspiration to so many fans over the years, and we sincerely appreciate all that he has meant to the Chiefs. He will always be an important part of our Chiefs family, and we wish him nothing but the best in the future.”
Hunt said that releasing Berry was in the team's best interest. In 2017, the Chiefs and Berry agreed to a six-year, $78 million deal.
“I’d like to thank Eric for his contributions to our team and the Kansas City community over the last nine years,” Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid said. “Seeing his passion and watching his love for the game has been truly remarkable. He’s a special person, and we wish him the best as his career moves forward.”
Berry has been plagued by injuries a few times in his NFL career, including a season-ending Achilles injury in 2017.
He also earned five trips to the Pro Bowl in his time with the Chiefs and was awarded the team’s Derrick Thomas Award in 2015 and 2016, given to the team’s most valuable player, voted on by his teammates.
Berry was a fan favorite at UT during the 2007-09 seasons. The Georgia native was an All-American who won the Jim Thorpe Award in 2009.