(WIBW) - One of the the Chiefs' inspirational leaders is no longer a member of the team.
Kansas City announced the release of longtime safety Eric Berry on Wednesday.
“We continually evaluate every aspect of our football team and we came to the decision that it was in our best interest to release Eric,” Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said in a release. “Knowing what Eric has meant to this organization and this city made this an incredibly difficult decision. We wish him nothing but the best.”
Berry has played in just four games over the past two seasons, as he's dealt with heel injuries. Multiple outlets are reporting the five-time Pro Bowler is being designated as a post-June 1 cut, which would save the Chiefs around $9.5 million in salary cap space this year and $5.5 million next year.
The safety quickly became a star in Kansas City, garnering three First-Team All-Pro nods while racking up 14 interceptions with five defensive touchdowns over nine seasons with the Chiefs. He's also been an inspirational force to many, as he fought and overcame Hodgkin's lymphoma. He's an Ed Block Courage Award recipient as well as an AP Comeback Player of the Year winner.
“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 in a release. “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."
“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 in a release. “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 played in 89 games in his career. He has 440 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 51 passes defended, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. The Chiefs selected him with the fifth-overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.