- Associated Press - Friday, July 30, 2010

ST. JOSEPH, MO. (AP) - Eric Berry’s tweet was true.

The Kansas City Chiefs confirmed Friday they signed the star safety from Tennessee, about nine hours after he said on his Twitter account that he’d come to terms.

The Chiefs did not release details but ESPN was reporting the 6-year deal was potentially worth $60 million.

The 6-foot, 211-pound Berry was the fifth player drafted last April after starting 39 games at Tennessee and totaling 245 tackles, 14 interceptions and four fumble recoveries.

Chiefs coach Todd Haley said following Friday afternoon’s practice that he hadn’t been told anything but hoped the tweet was accurate.

Berry seemed delighted to make the announcement earlier.

“Bout to head to St. Joe!!! Aka the deals done,” he tweeted.

ESPN said the deal was for six years and $60 million, with $34 million guaranteed. That would make him the highest-paid safety in history. Messages to Berry’s agent were not immediately returned.

The defensive secondary was one of the weakest areas on one of the weakest defenses in the NFL last year, a big reason the Chiefs finished 4-12 and gave up big plays almost every game.

Asked if he was relieved to know there would be no long holdout by the star safety from Tennessee who’s being counted on as an instant starter, Haley shrugged.

“I don’t know that’s even a fact,” he said. “I don’t know that anything’s official with him. I don’t know if anything’s done, signed or not signed. As soon as anything’s up, somebody will make an announcement.”

The Chiefs for years have had a history of first-round draft picks holding out of camp. Berry’s reporting on Saturday would mean every rookie and veteran is in camp.

“I’m crossing my fingers that that’s the situation,” said Haley. “There’s so little time as it is. You need to maximize your time and be efficient. Who’s here, we’ll coach. Who’s healthy, we’ll coach.”

Chiefs general Scott Pioli, signing autographs for fans following Friday afternoon’s practice, declined to speak with reporters.

In the meantime, Haley was ecstatic with the first practice and the new facilities, which were built at a cost of almost $14 million on the campus of Missouri Western State University.

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