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Panthers' Beason restructures contract to 'help out the team'

The Canadian Press

7/25/2013 6:24:42 PM

SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Carolina coach Ron Rivera said linebacker Jon Beason has restructured his contract, helping the Panthers free up salary cap space this year.

"He did, and believe me it's greatly appreciated," Rivera said.

It's unclear how much salary cap space the move creates for the Panthers or if they'll use the money to sign another free agent. Rivera said the team has spoken with at least two free agents -- offensive lineman Travelle Wharton and safety Quintin Mikell -- but have not signed either player.

Beason was going to earn $5.25 million this year, $6.5 million in 2014, $7.5 million in 2015 and $8.75 million in 2016.

Beason went to three Pro Bowls in his first four seasons in the league with Carolina and didn't miss a game during that span. However, injuries have intervened forcing him to miss 26 of the past 32 games.

"You do what you can do to help out the team," Beason said of restructuring his deal.

Beason is the latest in a long line of high-profile Panthers to restructure his contract this off-season.

Among the others who've already reworked their deals or taken pay cuts include running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, tight end Greg Olsen, and offensive linemen Jordan Gross and Ryan Kalil.

The Panthers started the off-season more than $16 million over the salary cap.

"Other guys have done it this off-season and it's something that was anticipated," Beason said.

Beason won't be on the field when the Panthers open training camp practice Friday night. He's still recovering from microfracture surgery on his right knee.

"It's something I'll have to manage going through the season," Beason said. "I'm going to have good days and bad days. ... Gradually it gets to the point where it's not an issue anymore."

Beason said it's possible he could sit out training camp so he can ready for the Sept. 8 regular season home opener against the Seattle Seahawks.

"I think that's quite possible," Beason said. "It's a big stepping stone what we do down here at camp. But for veteran guys like me it's about what (being ready) in week one."