Eric Berry won't report for start of Chiefs camp

Eric Berry and the Chiefs were "miles apart" during their failed contract negotiations. They'll be miles apart during training camp, too.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that the Pro Bowl safety is not planning to be on hand when Chiefs veterans report to camp on Friday, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. Berry won't accrue fines, though, because he has yet to sign his $10.8 million franchise tag.

"Perhaps this is a situation where Eric Berry shows up late into camp, but he's going to train, he'll be ready for the season," Rapoport said. "He's just going to do it on his own time for the time being."

It's not a shocking development after Berry and the team didn't come close to reaching an agreement on a long-term deal. Still, this isn't what Chiefs fans expected coming out of last season, a campaign that saw Berry earn his fourth Pro Bowl selection and Comeback Player of the Year honors after roaring back from Hodgkin's lymphoma, which wiped out his 2014 season.

Berry was looking for a contract in the neighborhood of Harrison Smith's five-year, $51.25 million pact with the Vikings, but NFL Media's Mike Garafolo reported that Kansas City drove a hard bargain.

"This is business and, boy, did the Chiefs stick to business on this one," Garafolo told NFL Network earlier this month. "They weren't just about to hand this guy a deal in which they felt they were going to be overpaying because of everything that he went through. This was hard negotiating at times and, in fact, we had a couple of sources ... tell us that during negotiations the Chiefs wanted Berry to pay for a disability insurance policy that would have named the team as a beneficiary. Given everything that he's been through, that didn't go over so well."

The Chiefs later pulled the disability clause, but the front office clearly left Berry wondering about his future with the team.

Regardless, quarterback Alex Smith is optimistic Berry will be back with the team eventually.

"I'm confident it will get worked out however it does, whenever it does," Smith said. "And then when he does get here, I'm confident Eric will be ready. That's just the type of guy he is, the type of player he is, the type of teammate he is. He'll be accountable to his teammates."

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