Obviously one of the major decisions Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey and the personnel staff will have to address this offseason surrounds All-Pro safety Eric Berry, who finished with 77 tackles, four interceptions (two of which were returned for touchdowns) and nine passes defensed playing on the franchise tag last season.
Berry, who is scheduled to become a free agent when the new league year begins on March 9, said as recently as two weeks ago that he "hopes" to stay with the Chiefs.
When speaking with the local media on Thursday, Dorsey talked about Berry and gave an update on where things stand right now.
"I think Eric Berry has had a fantastic season," Dorsey explained. "I think everybody within this organization and within the community have the upmost respect for that guy. I will say from my perspective that we've had very positive conversations with his representatives, and that's a good thing.
"I know that when I deal with Eric's representatives, I feel very good and positive, and I think his representatives feel very positive (as well)."
Berry, who just finished his seventh season in Kansas City, won the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year in 2016 after beating cancer. He has led the Chiefs to a 23-9 regular season record over the past two years.
Last week in Houston, Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt gave his thoughts on Berry while making the rounds on radio row.
"Eric Berry is somebody that as a player and as a person that I have tremendous respect for, and it really goes back to even before he had cancer," Hunt explained. "He's somebody that's been a team leader the entire time he's been here, and he's shown maturity well beyond his years.
"If you look in the last couple of years, with his cancer diagnosis and the battle he had to get back on the field as quickly as he did in 2015, and then the tremendous year that he had this year, the leadership he showed in helping the team get to a AFC West division title, you just can't say enough about the type of player and the type of person Eric Berry is."
While Berry's situation will grab many of the headlines, Dorsey also addressed another key impending free agent in defensive lineman Dontari Poe when speaking with reporters on Thursday.
"I think [Poe] had a wonderful season," Dorsey added. "I've always said all along, 'It's important to have as many good football players as you can.' Kind of like with Eric [Berry's] representative, I can say to you, we've had very good conversations with Dontari Poe's people. We will continue moving forward in the process."
Poe finished last season with 27 tackles and 1.5 sacks, but much like any player in the trenches, Poe's value is hard to quantify with traditional statistics.
With the injuries to veterans Jaye Howard and Allen Bailey early in the season, Poe stepped up and helped develop two younger players—Rakeem Nunez-Roches and Chris Jones—along the defensive line.
While Dorsey doesn't publicly discuss the business of football and where things specifically stand on contract negotiations, he did say it's feasible to keep both Berry and Poe moving forward.
"There's ways to work through that," Dorsey explained. "We have built-in scenarios trying to account for every type of situation that may be presented to us as we move forward here. We have factored in certain things to balance everything out. That's part of the plan that we talked about—in terms of developing that plan.
"We've developed numerous models to make sure we address every situation that's presented to us at critical times."