The Panthers have not approached WLB Jon Beason about a contract restructure.
Beason is in the third season of a six-year, $51.338M contract. Through the first two years of the deal, he's appeared in just five games and lost his middle linebacker job to Luke Kuechly. The Panthers have redone the deals of Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams, but Beason appears safe for now. He's on the books for $5.25M this year.
A source tells Yahoo that DeAngelo Williams and the Panthers have agreed to a contract restructure that lowers his cap numbers in 2013-2015.
At age 30 with a declining role behind Jonathan Stewart, Williams didn't have much of a choice. He could either accept this restructure or be designated a post-June 1 cut. This deal ensures Williams will be on the team in 2013 as the latter half of a timeshare. The agreement saves Carolina $3.2 million off this year's cap without reducing Williams' total compensation, and also slashes his salary drastically in 2014 and 2015. In return, the Panthers will accept $2.267 million in "dead money" on their 2016 and 2017 salary caps, when Williams won't be on the roster because he'll be in his mid-30s and those two seasons will void based on the reworked contract terms. Williams has averaged just 10.2 carries per game over the last two years, a number we wouldn't expect to rise this season. He's no longer overpaid.
Panthers WLB Jon Beason (knee, shoulder) is not expected to participate in June minicamps.
Beason has appeared in just five games over the last two seasons thanks to devastating injuries. He'll begin the transition to outside linebacker in earnest once training camp comes around. Luke Kuechly has seized Beason's old middle 'backer job.
Panthers C Ryan Kalil (Lisfranc surgery) says he is "on track" in his recovery.
Kalil says the rehab is "testing his patience." Early word in December was that Kalil was expected to be ready for OTAs, but that seems uncertain at this point. The 28-year-old suffered the injury in Week 5 last season and even if he isn't ready for OTAs, he should be all systems go for training camp.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera believes RB Kenjon Barner was a "value pick" at No. 182.
Rivera thinks the same is true of fifth-round LB A.J. Klein. "They had good college careers that did things consistently over a period of time," Rivera said. "Guys like that, they may not become superstars, but they're definitely going to be contributors." Rivera's comments come after GM Dave Gettleman called Barner a "little scatback." Value pick or not, it's clear the Panthers aren't counting on Barner to be a major contributor on offense as a rookie.
New Panthers OC Mike Shula believes emotional "balance" is critical to Cam Newton taking a significant step forward in his third NFL season.
Newton has been oft-criticized for pouting on the sidelines after things go wrong, including by teammate Steve Smith. "The more you can continue to stay on an even plane and lead the group of guys around you," said Shula, "the more effective you are going to be as a quarterback." Shula also stressed he wants better ball control on offense. "The number one thing is make first downs and keep the ball," said the rookie playcaller. "We want him to make quick decisions -- and the right decisions -- and get the ball out."