Chiefs officially release Eric Berry

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The Kansas City Chiefs Chiefs have released safety Eric Berry, who missed almost all of last season with a mysterious heel injury that cropped up early in training camp.

The five-time pro-bowler was a staple of the Chiefs' defense when healthy, but he struggled to stay on the field in recent years, including having to sit out most of last season with an Achilles injury.

The release of Berry, 30, brings an end to the Kansas City career of one of the team's most respected leaders of the past decade.

By releasing Berry, the Chiefs don't have to pay him an additional $7.25 million that would have become guaranteed by Friday. "He will always be an important part of our Chiefs family, and we wish him nothing but the best in the future".

"We sincerely appreciate all that he has meant to the Chiefs, Hunt said".

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The move is the latest in an offseason defensive overhaul for the Chiefs, who fired Bob Sutton within days of an AFC Championship Game.

Chiefs brass paid tribute to Berry in a series of statements accompanying the announcement of his release.

His release comes with a post-June 1 designation, meaning the Chiefs take on $6.5 million in dead money this season and $8 million next season. Chiefs coach Andy Reid described Berry as "a special person" and said that "seeing his passion and watching his love for the game has been truly remarkable".

Berry's career with the Chiefs was marked by incredible peaks and valleys.

Berry played in 89 games in nine seasons with the Chiefs. He has 440 total tackles, 14 interceptions (five returned for touchdowns), 51 passes defensed, 5.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

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