Panthers clear way for Jon Beason on outside

The Carolina Panthers are releasing linebacker James Anderson, according to Adam Schefter.

Your first thought probably is that this is a salary-cap move. Well, that’s not necessarily the case. Anderson was scheduled to count $4.4 million against the cap. He has $4.2 million in outstanding pro-rated bonus money that likely all accelerates toward the 2013 cap. The only way there is any real cap benefit to this move is if the Panthers designate Anderson a June 1 release and spread his cap hit over this year and 2014.

I think this move is more about making things more clear at linebacker and I think it’s a strong sign that Jon Beason is staying, although he almost certainly is moving to outside linebacker and perhaps doing it with a restructured contract.

With Anderson, the Panthers had four starting-caliber linebackers and they play a 4-3 defense. It has become very clear that Luke Kuechly is going to be the middle linebacker going forward.

With Anderson out of the picture, Beason and Thomas Davis are set as the outside linebackers.

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