After Restructuring Contract, Beason Deserves Praise
Panthers linebacker Jon Beason put his money where his mouth is and deserves praise for doing so. Beason remains owed $12 million from his signing bonus, but he was also guaranteed $3.75 million of his base salary this upcoming season. In the new deal he helps the team by lowering his cap number from $9.5 million to $6.1 million for this season and the rest of his deal remains unchanged.
Beason’s base salary has been reduced to a guaranteed $1 million and with two bonuses (workout and roster) he’ll make $1.75 million before the season starts. Good money for a linebacker who has spent more time off the field than on, but Beason didn’t have to make this move. If he would have stood firm, even if the team cut him (which would’ve had serious cap implications), he would have made the guaranteed base salary of $3.75 million. If he plays all 16 games this season, he can recoup $1.75 million of the $2 million shortfall from his new deal. Given Beason’s injury history, that $1.75 million is anything but in the bank.
Unlike all of the other recent restructures for the Panthers, Beason gave up money and got zero in return, other than some goodwill. If the Panthers would have cut Beason this off-season, they would have saved only $1.75 million this year and $2 million next off-season while creating $7.75 million in dead money this year and $8 million next. The team can still cut Beason next year and save $6.5 million in in 2014 and $7.5 million in 2015, while creating $4 million in dead money both years. By waiting until next season, the Panthers would nearly quadruple their savings, while chopping the dead money in half. Beason gained no additional security against being cut next year and gave up at least $250,000 this year, but more likely $2 million and did so in an off-season where the Panthers had very little, if any, leverage against him.
Jon Beason has played in just five games in the last two seasons and at age 28 with a serious of injuries, his $50.1 million contract will be likely be the last massive contract of his career. With all that in mind, he’s accepting a pay cut he didn’t have to take. Contrast his actions with 49ers cornerback Tarell Brown, who fired his agent over losing $2 million when he wasn’t informed of an escalator in his contract that paid him for participation in the team’s offseason workout program. When asked about the situation Brown stated, “No one wants to leave money on the table.” That’s exactly what Jon Beason is doing.
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