The 2019 free agency class is still strong at safety, even after the top name at the position went off the market – Earl Thomas is going to the Ravens to replace Eric Weddle. Another good name just became available. After adding the honey badger Tyrann Mathieu, the Chiefs had no more need of fan-favorite Eric Berry, who has been released.
The Panthers have already signed one safety this offseason – Eric Reid is under contract for the next three years. They need another starter to pair with him after the exit of Mike Adams, though. Carolina’s four-time Pro Bowl right guard Trai Turner wants Berry, for one.
On the surface, Berry could be a solid addition in Charlotte.
The Panthers were obviously interested in signing Eric Weddle, and apparently were one of the five teams that were on his final list before he signed with the Rams. That means they’re likely still looking for another safety.
Berry is a tenacious defender with excellent ball skills (14 career interceptions and 51 pass breakups). He’s also the right kind of character from a culture perspective and would no doubt quickly become one of coach Ron Rivera’s favorites.
On the downside, injuries have been a problem for Berry throughout his career and he’s only played three regular season games over the last two years. Berry is also more of a strong safety – and Carolina needs more of a cover safety to balance out Reid’s skill-set.
Then again, Berry’s history with injuries (and the number of names still out there) could drive down his price tag.