Unsigned safety Eric Berry was going to return to the Kansas City Chiefs before the start of the regular season. His return will be made easier because the sides never poisoned the situation with nasty public gestures or comments.
Neither Berry nor the Chiefs said much publicly about the situation from the time he was named their franchise player last winter. What was said was mostly deferential.
In another gesture of respect, the Chiefs have listed Berry as a starting safety on each of the weekly depth charts they’ve issued since the preseason started.
It’s hard to miss the differences between this situation and the one involving the San Diego Chargers and another unsigned player, rookie defensive end Joey Bosa. The sides have recently traded incendiary comments publicly in the last few days.
The Chargers had Bosa, the third overall pick in the draft, as a third-teamer on their first two depth charts. This week, they dropped him to fourth string.
Berry is a four-time Pro Bowl selection, Bosa a rookie. But it’s easier to get business done in an atmosphere like the one created by Berry and the Chiefs than Bosa and the Chargers.
“I don’t really want to speak about the Chargers’ business," chairman Clark Hunt said Friday before the Chiefs’ annual preseason kickoff luncheon in Kansas City. “Every [team] makes those decisions individually. Certainly we have a way we operate here in Kansas City. I found that over time it’s not positive to publicly discuss contract negotiations, whether it’s a coach or player or front office executive. It’s just not something we do here with the Chiefs."