April 3, 2016

Highlighted Year: Deron Cherry, 1984

Safety, Kansas City Chiefs

Age: 25 (Sept. 12)
4th season in pro football & with Chiefs
College: Rutgers
Height: 5’11” Weight: 190

Cherry intercepted nine passes in college and also handled the punting, averaging 39.6 yards on 104 punts. Undrafted by the NFL, he signed with the Chiefs as a punter in 1981 but, after briefly being let go, spent his first two seasons as a backup in the defensive backfield before the departure of FS Gary Barbaro to the USFL opened a spot for him in 1983. He had an outstanding season, intercepting seven passes and receiving first-team All-AFC honors from UPI and Pro Football Weekly as well as earning selection to the Pro Bowl.

1984 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Interceptions – 7 [4, tied with six others]
Most interceptions, game – 2 vs. LA Raiders 9/16
Int. return yards – 140 [7]
Most int. return yards, game – 67 (on 1 int.) vs. Cleveland 9/30
Int. TDs – 0
Sacks – 0
Fumble recoveries – 0
Tackles – 78
Assists – 50

Kickoff Returns
Returns – 1
Yards – 0
TDs – 0

Awards & Honors:
1st team All-NFL: AP, UPI
1st team All-AFC: UPI
Pro Bowl

Chiefs went 8-8 to finish fourth in the AFC West.

An outstanding playmaker with intelligence and sound instincts to make up for lack of ideal speed, Cherry continued to excel for the Chiefs, gaining selection to the next four Pro Bowls and receiving first-team All-NFL recognition again in 1986 and ’88. After intercepting a career-high 9 passes in 1986, he missed time due to injury in ’87 but bounced back to play in every game and picked off another 7 passes in 1988, when he also was credited with a career-high 151 tackles. A knee injury that required surgery cost him time in 1990 and his career came to an end in ’91. Overall, in 11 pro seasons, all with the Chiefs, Cherry intercepted 50 passes, one of which he returned for a TD. He received first-team All-NFL honors three times and first- or second-team All-AFC honors after four other seasons, and was selected to a total of six Pro Bowls.


Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970