Andy Reid 'grateful' for departed trio's contribution

In the new age of the salary cap, some of the most arduous losses to deal with come in the offseason.

For the Kansas City Chiefs, their faithful and coach Andy Reid, this offseason has seen the departure of three veteran defensive stalwarts: pass rusher Justin Houston (released and signed by the Colts), pass rusher Dee Ford (traded to the 49ers) and safety Eric Berry (released and still looking).

It's a harsh reality that Reid isn't overjoyed with, but realizes is the nature of the game.

"That's the name of this game right now," Reid told NFL Network's Steve Wyche on Saturday in a one-on-one sitdown. "I mean, the NFL now ... it's hard to hold on to players for as long as you'd like to. I mean these are three of my favorite guys and good football players who can still do this thing.

"But, you have this influx of young guys, you have this whole salary cap thing that you've got to try to juggle. You have to be half-a-genius to put this thing together and make it sustained."

Berry was a huge fan favorite in K.C. and a beautiful comeback story following his triumph over cancer. Of his nine years with the Chiefs, five concluded with Pro Bowl honors (three with an All-Pro selection).

For eight years, Houston was with the Chiefs and he had four Pro Bowls to show for it.

Ford just went to his first Pro Bowl after his fifth Kansas City season.

All three had played the entirety of their NFL careers with the Chiefs - until this offseason changed all that.

It's not just about this one offseason, though, or even next season.

"That's the key here," Reid said. "So we're talking about not just one year, but we're talking about years and to do that, you're gonna have to let some of these guys go to other teams."

For Reid, though, as much as it's not just about one year, it's not all about the future, as he wished the departing trio nothing but the best moving on.

"I wish them the best of luck," he said. "These are three guys that helped build what we are today. They taught these young guys the right way of doing things. And so I'll be forever grateful them, plus they're good guys."

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