It appears the Carolina Panthers have given up on Jon Beason. Pending a physical today, the 28 year old linebacker will be traded to the New York Giants for a late round draft pick, according to published reports.
A three time Pro Bowl selection, Beason has been slowed by injuries since signing a reported six-year, $51.338 million deal with incentives on July 30, 2011. That season he played in just one game, four in 2012 and despite appearing in all three this year, he saw just one snap in Carolina’s lopsided win over New York two weeks ago.
Panthers head coach Ron Rivera named Chase Blackburn as the starter in this week’s matchup against the Cardinals in Arizona. The former Giants’ linebacker took over for Beason in Week 3.
Blackburn was signed as an unrestricted free agent last April by new general manager Dave Gettleman who knew the eight-year veteran from his days as a long-time player personnel executive with the Giants.
Before the string of injuries that forced him out of the lineup, Beason was a tackling machine and was expected to be a key member of Rivera’s rebuilding of the Carolina defense. He recorded 540 tackles in his first four seasons, 417 of them solo and was such a force at middle linebacker that rookie Luke Kuechly was moved over to the weak side. When Beason went down in the fourth game a year ago, Kuechly took over at his more natural position in the middle and excelled.
Beason lost his job this year to Kuechly and was ineffective especially in the last minute loss to the Bills in Week 2. He did not look good and there were questions about his ability to compete at the level he once did before the injuries.