Time To Go To Work

Posted Jul 31, 2010

Eric Berry will be pulling double-duty in his first day at training camp

All Chiefs rookies are present and accounted for. The Chiefs front office confirmed that first-round draft pick Eric Berry inked his contract last night, closing the book on all of Kansas City’s unsigned rookies.

During the Chiefs radio takeover of KXFX 101.1The Fox and Sports Radio 810 WHB on Tuesday, GM Scott Pioli only yielded the obvious when it came to contract negotiations between the Chiefs and their unsigned rookies.

"The way I've always felt about things like this is that everyone knows when the starting date is and when the starting time is,” Pioli said.

Apparently no one misplaced their training camp calendars. News of Berry’s agreement circulated throughout news outlets well before Friday’s practice, leaving plenty of fans with hope of an outside chance in seeing a red #29 at St. Joseph’s training camp debut.

That didn’t happen, but it will today.

With over half of Kansas City’s draft class remaining unsigned just 48 hours prior to report day, getting all seven players inked before the conclusion of camp’s first day is both surprising and impressive. The last time that the Chiefs had an entire draft class report on time for training camp was in 2006 when first-rounder Tamba Hali signed inked his contract just before liftoff from KCI.

In 2008, fifth overall pick Glenn Dorsey was in the same boat as Berry both in draft selection and report day; they both missed one practice.

Less than 24 hours after Pioli first spoke on Sports Radio 810, half of Kansas City’s unsigned picks were signed. Just 12 hours after that, third-rounder Jon Asamoah followed the lead of second-round picks Dexter McCluster and Javier Arenas to put ink on his deal. That left Berry as the only remaining rookie to sign.

When considering the off-season attendance that the Chiefs had this spring, there was incentive on both sides not to stand in the way of momentum. Even with an uneasy labor situation, both sides of the negotiations found it important for the Chiefs first-round pick to get the most out of training camp. As a whole, this is a Chiefs rookie class that is expected to compete for significant playing time right away.

Berry’s first day in St. Joseph will be one of double duty. The Chiefs are scheduled to practice at 8:50 AM and 4:30 PM on Saturday. Look for practice reports following each session.

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