Unless you were hiding under a rock yesterday or so engrossed in all of the news coming out of St. Joe, Missouri, the home of the Kansas City Chiefs’ training camp, you probably know by now that starting left tackle Eric Fisher signed a pretty significant contract extension.
Former No. 1 overall pick Eric Fisher and Chiefs reach agreement on 4-year, $63 million extension that includes $40M gtd, sources tell ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 30, 2016
Eric Fisher’s 4-year extension is worth $48 million, including $40 million gtd. The six years he now has left on deal total $63 million.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 30, 2016
You probably also know that safety Eric Berry was a no-show at camp, as predicted, and is under no obligation to be there because he hasn’t signed his franchise tender at this point. If you looked at Twitter at any point yesterday, you probably saw a lot of negativity towards this signing. Here are just a few I saw when scrolling through my timeline:
Fisher is definitely up and coming. He’s going to be a solid tackle. But… Before Berry AND Poe? They’re both going to walk, aren’t they?
— Ryan Landreth (@ryan_landreth) July 30, 2016
It’s not logical that the #Chiefs basically said “we couldn’t extend Eric Berry, so let’s extend Eric Fisher!”
This is not smart at all.
— Doug Moore (@DMooreNFL) July 30, 2016
Eric Berry and Poe aren’t paid but we gave 63 million to Eric Fisher….lmao
— Sully (@SullyFootball) July 30, 2016
How tf does Fisher get a deal before Berry. No one else should get paid until Berry is signed 😤.
— Smitty (@kcsmitty24) July 30, 2016
As you can see, the response was less than enthusiastic for this signing. And perhaps with good reasoning. However, comparing a left tackle to a safety is like comparing apples to oranges, or Chiefs to Raiders. They just aren’t the same thing.
As the waning days ran down for Chiefs general manager John Dorsey to sign Berry to a long-term deal, he undoubtedly turned his sights to other players he could–and wanted to–lock up with contract extensions. I truly think moving through last season, Fisher was probably towards the bottom of that list, but when you take into account he took a position change in stride–Reid moved him to right tackle to begin the season–and then reclaimed his original position while owning the reigning Defensive Player of the Year in the process, it only makes sense that locking Eric Fisher up to a long-term deal made perfect sense.
Further, the deal was extremely team friendly in that it shaved roughly $3 million from the Chiefs’ overall cap number for the 2016 season. That’s a huge move, considering they were sitting with just a hair over $1 million in space prior to the signing of Fisher. That cap hit is due in large part to Berry and the Chiefs not coming to terms with a deal, which makes Berry’s cap hit almost $11 million for the season–all guaranteed.
The other major point is signing Fisher to a contract is it brings significant continuity to the Chiefs offensive line. In case you missed it, and I doubt you did, the Chiefs brought in huge free agent acquisition Mitchell Schwartz this offseason to anchor the right side of the line for the next five years. Additionally, center Mitch Morse is only in his second year of a four-year rookie deal. That means with this signing, three-fifths–and perhaps the most important pieces–of the Chiefs’ O-line is now cemented in stone–and ink–for at least the next three years. For everyone who has been screaming for stability along the front five, this should bring a serious sigh of relief.
Breaking down the details of Fisher’s contract, it’s easy to see why the Chiefs made this deal. They still have to look towards signing defensive tackle Dontari Poe next season–who won’t come cheap–and still look towards signing Berry next offseason.
Told structure of Eric Fisher deal will help with cap & cash in hammering out Poe contract, team’s top looming priority…yes over Berry.
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) July 30, 2016
While on the surface, it may appear that Fisher’s signing trumped that of Berry’s, the bottom line is, one has absolutely nothing to do with the other. If anything, signing Fisher only opened the door for Berry to return to the field next season wearing red and yellow.
Let us know below what you think in the comments below. Were the Chiefs crazy for signing Fisher over everyone else?
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