INDIANAPOLIS — When it comes to negotiations, Kansas City Chiefs General Manager John Dorsey understands the value of face-to-face meetings.
He credits circumstances that put him and representatives for Eric Berry together on Tuesday to put together a six-year, $78-million contract (with $40 million guaranteed) for the standout safety.
‘As we got closer to the tag date, we just had to make some decisions’
“These negotiations took place last year and it stalled,” Dorsey told Bruce Murray and Brady Quinn on the SiriusXM Blitz at the NFL Combine. “And so we had to pause there until the end of the season by the rules of the NFL. So then what we did is we began to open up the lines of communications. As we got closer to the projected March 1 (franchise) tag date, we just had to make some decisions here.
“The beauty of negotiations sometimes when you do them over the phone they can stall out. But when you go face-to-face, I think there’s some power to it. So Eric and his representatives were in town for the 101 banquet, where Eric received the team MVP award.”
‘I had to leave around 5:30 to 5:45 to get that direct flight to Indianapolis’
After that, both sides launched into 10 hours of negotiations.
“We set the schedule for the day and I had given them a deadline because I had to leave around 5:30 to 5:45 to get that direct flight to Indianapolis, Indiana, at 8:25 that night,” Dorsey recalled. “So what we did is we had five or six meetings and then we would caucus on the side. They would go do their points and begin to plan, so we went back and forth five times until eventually — there were probably 12 points to the deal itself … we were hammering away and the next thing you know, right around 5:25, there was there 12 points sitting right there and sure enough it got done.
‘The consummate professional, great person’
“Great guy, couldn’t be happier for Eric. The consummate professional, great person. I’m just happy for him, because he got his worth.”