Eric Berry Biography, Contract, Stats, What type of cancer did he suffer from?

Eric Berry will go down in NFL history as one of the greatest safeties there is. From his college days, Berry has proven what a great talent he is on the court. His talent combined with an incredible personality has made him one of the most admirable players in the NFL. However, like every other NFL player, Berry’s career was not without setbacks. Perhaps the most gruesome was the cancer scare in 2014. In the end, Berry emerged as a winner in the brief but emotional battle with cancer that sought to truncate his career. Three plus years since he was declared cancer free and Eric Berry continues to enjoy an incredible career that many can only wish for.

Eric Berry Biography

Berry was born James Eric Berry on December 29, 1988, in Atlanta, Georgia. He inherited his athletic side from his father James who played college football as a running back for the University of Tennessee. He played from 1978 to 1981 when he was named team captain. Eric Berry has two younger siblings, Elliott and Evan, who both played college football at the University of Tennessee. Evan plays in the NFL as a receiver for the Cleveland Browns.

At Creekside High School in Fairburn, Eric Berry became a star athlete, running the track and playing football. After graduating from high school, Berry, who received offers from various schools, followed in his father’s footsteps by attending the University of Tennessee. Berry also inherited his father’s leadership qualities, as he was named varsity captain in his sophomore year. Berry went on to stage an incredible college career being a finalist for the 2008 Jim Thorpe Award, Lott Trophy and Chuck Bednarik Award. He won the Jim Thorpe in 2009 before giving up his final year of eligibility to enter the 2010 NFL Draft.

Named a top prospect by a number of sports publications, Eric Berry was the first defenseman to be drafted. The Kansas City Chiefs had selected him in the first round (fifth overall). He signed a 6-year contract worth $60 million.

Berry had a stellar rookie season, helping to improve his team’s defense rating. He became the first Chiefs rookie since Derrick Thomas in 1989 to be named to the Pro Bowl.

His first major career injury came in September 2011. He had torn his ACL, and after 9 months of recovery he was back in the team, quickly recovering his role as a strong starting safety.

Another setback hit Berry’s career when he was diagnosed with cancer in December 2014. Ultimately, Berry overcame the illness and returned to normal duty with his team less than 6 months after the diagnosis. He improved his overall value and was named 2015 AP Returning Player of the Year. In 2018, Eric Berry was named to the Pro Bowl at least 5 times and was a first-team All-Pro at least three times.


Eric Berry is well rewarded for his incredible talents. His ability to improve his game year after year has made him a very valuable player for the Chiefs. After his first contract with the Chiefs expired, the franchise in 2017 signed him to a record six-year, $78 million deal that saw him become the NFL’s highest-paid safety. The contract came with a $40 million guarantee and a $20 million signing bonus. The deal saw him make his second appearance on the Forbes list of the world’s highest-paid athletes at number 34 with an annual earning of $31.1 million, more than 90% of which comes from his salary with the Chiefs. The rest comes from its agreement with Adidas, which has been its partner since May 2010.


According to his profile on the official NFL website, Eric Berry’s career stats as of the end of the 2017 season include;

Total tackles: 434

Bags: 5.5

Interceptions: 14

Forced groping: 3

Pass deflections: 50

Defensive touchdowns: 5

What type of cancer did he suffer from?

Eric Berry was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in early December 2014, a few weeks after being checked for chest pain. Doctors discovered a mass in his chest. Berry was treated by lymphoma specialist Christopher Flowers of Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

After revealing the diagnosis, Dr. Flowers explained that recent medical advances in research have made Hodgkin’s lymphoma highly treatable. Using standard chemotherapy approaches, Berry’s cancer was fully cured in June 2015 when he was cleared to resume his football career.

The prognosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma continues to improve, as shown by recent medical studies.

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