Panthers LB Jon Beason's roster spot is safe.
Beat writer Joe Person thinks there's too much money left on Beason's deal for him to be cut, even if the Panthers wanted to pull the plug. Beason is scheduled to count $9.5 million against the salary cap this season, and the Panthers would be charged $12 million if they cut him. The 28-year-old expects to play weak-side linebacker, but Person opines that his future is on the strong side.
Panthers.com considers undrafted rookie S Robert Lester an option to start.
Lester started 40 games at strong safety under Nick Saban at Alabama, so he has plenty of experience. He also has great size at 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds, but his cover skills aren't NFL caliber. Carolina didn't address its secondary at all in the draft, so Lester will be competing with fellow special teams type safeties D.J. Campbell and Mike Mitchell for the gig next to Charles Godfrey.
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.