Jon Beason

Jon Beason is still making an impact for the Giants, even from the sideline

EAST RUTHERFORD — The undisputed leader of the Giants' defense is no longer on the field. But linebacker Jon Beason is still making an impact, even after being placed on season-ending injured reserve 11 days ago. 

"He's still with us, and he helps. He's tremendous. He's a great leader," linebackers coach Jim Herrmann said Monday. "I love him as a person. He's so competitive. Just to have him out there, my eyes might be on this guy over there, and he can watch someone else. It helps."

So, it's almost like Beason is a coach now?

"Don't tell him that," Herrmann said with a laugh. "But the motivation point that he brings, is great for the whole group, the whole defense."

But still, the notion of Beason in a coaching capacity, or something akin to that, is bound to cause intrigue. 

Beason is universally loved by his coaches and teammates, and respected the media that covers the Giants. But the facts are the facts: Beason is 30-years-old, and his body has failed him over the last four years.

Beason has played more than five games just once in that span, and has been unavailable for a total of 51 regular season contests. And if the Giants cut Beason in the offseason, they can save over $5 million against the cap. 

All of that adds up to a murky on-field future going forward. Herrmann said he has not discussed the future with Beason, and he is not sure what his plans will be going forward.

But one thing is certain to Herrmann: Having Beason around is nothing but a positive.

"I think he's doing what he's always done," Herrmann said. "He's always been a great leader and an example to the younger guys throughout his whole career. He's doing that, just not out on the field (as a player)."

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Jon Beason placed on IR

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – To create room on the roster after activating DE Jason Pierre-Paul, the Giants placed linebacker Jon Beason on injured reserve. Beason has injuries to his knee and ankle. He played in five games, making this the second consecutive year the defensive captain’s season has been cut short by injury.

Beason missed the season’s first two games with a knee injury. He made his 2015 debut vs. Washington on Sept. 24, and had five tackles the following week in Buffalo.

On Oct. 11, Beason suffered a concussion in the first quarter of the Giants’ victory over San Francisco. Two weeks later, he had a season-high 11 tackles (seven solo) against Dallas. But he hurt his ankle in that game, and continues to have issues with his knee.

Last year, Beason hurt his toe during a workout in June. He played in four games before going on injured reserve on Oct. 29. Beason subsequently underwent surgery to repair his foot/toe injury.

This is the fifth time in six seasons dating back to when he was with Carolina in 2011 that Beason will play no more than five games. The exception was 2013, the year he was acquired by the Giants in a trade, when he played in 12 games.

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Jon Beason misses practice but plans to play vs. Saints

Dallas ran 69 plays and controlled the clock for 38 minutes last week, but still the Giants came out victorious.

Jon Beason is feeling it now.

After seeing increased reps against the Cowboys, the middle linebacker missed practice again on Thursday due to an ankle injury. But his “plan” is to play this week in New Orleans.

“Just a little sore,” the defensive captain said. “So we’re just trying to be smart. I’m trying to make it to Sunday.”

Beason ran his snap count up to 60 in Week 7, nearly doubling what he did the game before while dealing with a knee issue. Uani ‘Unga, who has backed up Beason this season and split the workload, missed the Cowboys game because of a neck problem.

“It’s been working,” Beason said. “But unfortunately, guys get nicked. The good thing about our room is we have a lot of guys that can play, a lot of veteran guys, smart players, and we feel good about whoever is out there.”

In a bend-but-don’t-break kind of game, Beason led the Giants with 11 tackles against Dallas and got back into the groove.

“For me, that’s what it’s all about,” Beason said. “I’ve been on a bike before. So I’ve just got to get back on and start pedaling. So getting out there was fun, felt good, felt natural, and some things I felt I could’ve done better. But that’ll come in time.”

If all goes according to plan, Beason will face a familiar foe from his NFC South days. Beason saw the Saints twice a year playing in Carolina, where he started from 2007-2013 and made multiple Pro Bowls.

Not much has changed since then. The whole team still revolves around quarterback Drew Brees.

“I think, first off, he’s a great teammate,” Beason said. “He’s a leader, captain of that [offense]. He makes that team go and that offense go. He’s pinpoint accurate. He makes smart decisions, quick decisions, and he’s kind of one of those guys that he came back from an injury and people said he couldn’t do something, and he just went out and proved why he still is Drew Brees.”

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Jon Beason: Makes seven solo tackles

Beason (knee) had seven solo tackles and four assists Sunday.

He's been hurt most of the year, but when healthy, Beason is always a good source of tackles from the middle linebacker position.

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Jon Beason being reduced to part-time linebacker?

Giants middle linebacker Jon Beason was back on Monday night after suffering a concussion the previous week, but his role was limited.

Beason split snaps at middle linebacker with Uani Unga during a 27-7 loss to the Eagles. Unga was on the field for 40 defensive plays, Beason 38.

Unga handled most of the passing downs when the Giants were in their nickel defense with three cornerbacks on the field. This seems to be a trend. Even before Beason suffered the concussion early in the previous week's game (on the fifth play) against the 49ers, Unga was on the field with the nickel defense.

Some of this is a result of Beason having trouble staying healthy and being in playing shape. He struggled with a knee injury before the concussion.

But with Unga showing a knack for making plays (he had seven tackles and a forced fumbled), it seems fair to wonder if the platoon will continue even when Beason, 30, is back at full strength. It's possible at this point of Beason's career – when he's not great in pass coverage anyway – that he's a part-time middle linebacker.

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Jon Beason Injury Update

Jon Beason update: Coughlin sounded optimistic about linebacker Jon Beason, who left Sunday's game with a concussion. "He seemed to be in pretty good spirits and pretty good shape this morning," Coughlin said. 

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Jon Beason is full participant in practice

Giants linebacker Jon Beason (knee) was a full participant in Tuesday's practice.

Despite getting in a full practice, Beason remains uncertain for Thursday's game against the Redskins after missing the first two weeks of the season. At the very least, he should be back for Week 4, likely serving in an every-down role.

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Jon Beason shreds cruel, greedy NFL for Thursday games

Jon Beason’s body keeps failing him, and the veteran Giants linebacker is starting to vent some frustration on the NFL.

Beason missed most of last season and still doesn’t appear ready to play this year thanks to a sprained knee the ninth-year pro suffered in training camp, most likely leaving Big Blue shorthanded in the middle once again for Sunday’s home opener against the Falcons.

One of the reasons Beason probably won’t play versus Atlanta (he was listed as doubtful on the Giants’ official injury report) is they have such a short turnaround before facing the Redskins next Thursday at MetLife Stadium.

That predicament caused Beason to go off on the league for even scheduling Thursday games in the first place.

“[When] you decide to throw another football game into a week, it shows they don’t really care about the players,” Beason said as Big Blue went through one of Tom Coughlin’s new “recovery” Fridays instead of a normal practice.

“That’s just how I feel,” Beason added. “We’re still playing 16 games, whether we play two in a week or not. I know how I feel on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. To think you have to play a game on Thursday, it’s tough.”

Beason, 30, is upset because he wants to be out on the field Sunday — and the Giants’ shorthanded defense could certainly use the three-time Pro Bowl selection.

Beason, who also was a first-team All-Pro pick with the Panthers, was a surprise star for the Giants in 2013 after joining them early in the season. But injuries limited him to just four games last season, none after a Week 7 loss to Dallas.

Beason’s replacement last week and this week, second-year pro Uani’ Unga, struggled in the season opener against the Cowboys and was beaten by tight end Jason Witten for the decisive touchdown catch with seven seconds left that produced Dallas’ 27-26 victory.

While appearing pessimistic Beason would be allowed to play against the Falcons, Coughlin said Friday it “would be a good shot in the arm” if it happened.
“The players not unanimously but wholeheartedly voted him captain, so it would be a definite plus for us,” Coughlin said of Beason.

Beason said it was “extremely tough” to have to watch the Dallas loss from home on television.

“You’ve been dreaming about that game since the schedule came out,” Beason said Friday. “It’s the Dallas Cowboys, it’s Jerry’s World, it’s a divisional game, it’s a great opponent, they won the division last year.”

The idea that Beason might have to watch in street clothes again Sunday just because the NFL has the Giants and Redskins coming back on a short week for television purposes was too much for him to take Friday.

“It’s about money,” Beason said. “The game is growing, fans want to see football, and I get it. I just know from a player’s standpoint, it’s extremely tough to play in a Thursday night game.

“Your body is just beat up, especially when you play a late Sunday game or Monday game,” he added. “It’s an advantage for the next team. It’s just extremely hard to play on Thursdays.”

The only bright spot to Thursday games, Beason said, is the players on both teams are “all in it together.” The best solution to Beason short of a revolt by the NFL Players Association in the next labor agreement would be to have both Thursday opponents coming off a bye week.

“Some teams practice, some teams just walk-through,” Beason said of the abbreviated schedule for a Thursday game. “It’s a different philosophy for different teams. But I think it becomes very difficult to play on Thursday night. The good thing [now] is that a lot of times, it’s a level playing field.”

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Jon Beason Injury Update

LB Jon Beason (knee) ‐ He didn't think he could play last week at the level he wanted. The Giants defensive captain tried practicing last week but experienced soreness. He didn't practice with his teammates on Wednesday, again putting his availability in serious doubt. Beason did stretch and do some work on a side field with trainers. 

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Jon Beason optimistic about playing Week 1

When New York Giants linebacker Jon Beason injured his knee earlier in the preseason, he had three weeks to get ready for the season opener. At the time, he claimed he would be good to go for Week 1, but based on his injury history, there was reason to be skeptical. It's beginning to look like Beason will be a full go when the Giants open up their regular season on September 13th.

"He feels better," head coach Tom Coughlin said about Beason's recovery, per True Jersey. "He has a routine now and they've been been a little more aggressive each day with it. He's optimistic."

The Giants desperately need Beason to suit up. With the Cowboys' offensive line on tap, they will need the linebackers to make plays at the second level on a consistent basis throughout the preseason opener.

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Jon Beason Injury Update

Coughlin said he does not have anything new on Beason's sprained knee. Beason is week-to-week, but the Giants hope he will be back by Week 1, if not earlier. 

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Jon Beason believes he will be ready for season opener

Given his recent injury history, Jon Beason knows full well how alarming it was when the linebacker had to exit Saturday night’s preseason game with a knee injury.

But the New York Giants linebacker assured everyone that he doesn’t plan on missing the season opener on Sept. 13 against the Dallas Cowboys with the knee sprain he suffered.

“It’s minor,” Beason said in a conference call late Sunday. “Nothing too concerning in my book.”

“I totally believe that I can and I have my mind made up,” Beason added of whether he will be ready for the opener. “I’ll do everything I can humanly possible to make sure that that happens. And I don’t want just straight on Sunday. I want to get back in time for preparation for that [Dallas] game.”

Beason said he hurt his knee when he made a breakup on a pass attempt in the end zone. The linebacker felt some instability in the left knee and was kept out of the game. He underwent an MRI on Sunday which revealed nothing more than a sprain.

Head coach Tom Coughlin said he did not know how long his middle linebacker would be out. Veteran Jameel McClain should help fill the void until Beason is back.

“We do have the benefit of a guy that’s played a lot of football and is very good in the huddle,” Coughlin said of McClain. “Does all those things extremely well. So you hate to think in terms of anything that stretches your depth right at this point in time, but it’s a reality in our league.”

Beason said the most frustrating part of his injury is missing practice reps in new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s system.

“I felt like I was just starting to come into a zone where I felt comfortable in this scheme in terms of getting everybody lined up and trying to do my job at a high level and being active,” Beason said. “But the other thing about it is that I’ve been down this road before and I know how to prepare without necessarily being on the field.”

Beason played in four games last year due to a toe injury suffered in minicamp. And before playing in 15 games the year before for the Giants and Panthers, Beason played in a total of five games over the previous two years because of leg injuries in Carolina.

Beason and the Giants are relieved the injury isn't more serious especially after seeing the team lose two safeties –- Bennett Jackson and Justin Currie –- to injury for the season.

“People may say, ‘Hey, Beason has been accident prone the latter part of his career,’” Beason said. “But this game is unforgiving. ... For us, it’s unfortunate when starters and guys who you assume are going to be a big part of the equation for the season get hurt. But you know, that’s a part of the gig.

“So we’ve had some really bad injuries and knock on wood but we’ve had injuries that are just setbacks for guys that are probably going to come back and be fine,” he added. “You just keep your fingers crossed, but it is the nature of the beast and it’s like gambling, you just don’t know what’s going to happen. Day to day, anything can happen, so hopefully the injuries for us slow down, because they’ve been coming fast and furious over the past couple weeks.”

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Jon Beason has sprained knee; says he believes he can play vs. Cowboys

EAST RUTHERFORD — Giants linebacker Jon Beason has a sprained knee and there is no timetable yet for his return, Tom Coughlin said on Sunday. 

Coughlin said he does not know enough about Beason's condition to try and project when he might be back. Coughlin said you have to approach such injuries as "week-to-week," but that he will know more in a few days after consulting with team doctors.

Coughlin did not, however, go as far as to say Beason would be unlikely to play in the regular season opener on Sept. 13 in Dallas. "These things are all different," Coughlin said. "I'm not going to speculate. ... But sometimes in these cases, it's longer than you think."

Beason told reporters he also expects to play against the Cowboys, if not earlier, calling the injury "minor." It is frustrating that he will miss practice time, he said, but he knows how to prepare despite being out. 

"I totally believe that I can (play in the opener)," Beason said. "I am going to do everything humanly possible to do that."

Beason left Saturday's 22-12 preseason game win over the Jaguars in the first half. He remained on the sidelines for the rest of the game, changing into street clothes for the second half, and was standing for much of the evening. 

Beason, 30, missed all but two games last season due to a toe injury. Beason appeared in 12 games for the Giants in 2013, but he only played in eight total over his final three season with the Panthers from 2010-12. 

With Beason out, veteran Jameel McClain figures to move into his spot as the starting middle linebacker. McClain is just back off a stinger injury, however.

Linebacker Uani Unga has also had a good training camp in the middle. 

Until Saturday, Beason had been healthy all training camp long for the Giants while having his reps managed with his injury history in mind. 

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Jon Beason, Steve Spagnuolo develop close relationship

Just a few short months ago, Steve Spagnuolo and Jon Beason were strangers. They had admired each other from afar, but had never met much less worked together on the same team.


"I love Jon Beason," Spagnuolo, the new defensive coordinator for the Giants, said on Monday.

The two have been spending a lot of time together. Beason is Spagnuolo's middle linebacker, his voice on the field, and it's important the two foster a close bond. Before just about every training camp practice Spagnuolo and Beason spend one-on-one time together. Sometimes it's working on a drill or a technique. Sometimes it's just talking. But they seem to have found kindred spirits in each other.

"He's a guy who loves ball all the time, he's nonstop," Beason said. "We get a chance to hang out during the special teams period [early in practice] where I'm a little less involved than I would be, so we get a little one-on-one time…
Getting me over there it's, 'Let's take advantage of this five, 10 minutes that we have. Get you over here and let's talk about knock back and the way that I see you tackling as opposed to the way I see you tackling right now.'"

Beason is a nine-year veteran, but this is his first year in Spagnuolo's system, so he's learning like a rookie. But he's also learning like Beason.

"In a walk-thru he was moving the trash cans [that stand in as offensive linemen during drills] and I said 'You want to get those right,'" Spagnuolo said. "He said 'Yeah, I'm like that. I want to be perfect. It's a blessing and a curse.'"

Spagnuolo also showed Beason's energy in what he called a "sluggish" practice on Sunday as an example of what he wants to see from the other players on defense.

Football may be a game of Xs and Os, of strategies and physicality, but it also is a game of relationships. Spagnuolo learned that when he was in sync with Antonio Pierce during his previous tenure with the Giants. There may be none more important to the success of this year's Giants than the one between Spagnuolo and Beason.

So far, it's blossoming.

"He's a football player," Spagnuolo said. "He loves the game and when you are passionate about football you want to do the right thing. I love working with him."

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Jon Beason wants to flag quarterbacks for making dangerous throws

During the last few years when Jon Beason has been doing more watching than playing, he’s obviously had time to think about the greater good of the game.

And after campaigning unsuccessfully earlier in training camp for more contact instead of less, he has now come up with an idea even more revolutionary and less likely to be implemented.

Via Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News, the Giants middle linebacker said the answer to curbing big hits to defenseless receivers could rest with the guy throwing the ball rather than the guy doing the hitting.

“In my opinion, I think they should flag the quarterbacks for throwing the ball there,” Beason said. “Back in the day, certain routes in certain coverages said I could not throw this seam route because it’s cover-4, safety’s sitting right on top of there, I don’t want to get my guy killed. . . . Now that doesn’t happen, and that’s partly because a flag for a helmet-to-helmet or other big hit sometimes functions as a reward for the offense.

“Now you throw the ball, guys get hit, they may be hurt, maybe not. You roll around, the flag comes out. Well, it’s a good play for the offense . . . So you play to the rules. I think the onus should be on the quarterbacks not to throw those balls. Then we wouldn’t have those collisions.”

Beason was reportedly “half-joking” when he said it, because he’s smart enough to know such an idea would never fly.

Or maybe he was just thinking about the potential fines his new teammate Brandon Meriweather would collect if he had to take the field for the Giants this year.

Either way, putting the responsibility for dangerous throws on the quarterback is an idea only a linebacker could come up with.

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Brandon Meriweather reunites with Jon Beason

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Jon Beason and Brandon Meriweather enjoyed the NFL’s version of a family reunion today at Giants’ training camp.

The linebacker and safety were teammates for four seasons at the University of Miami (2003-06). They share a birthday, Jan. 14. The two players were selected 24th (Meriweather) and 25th in the 2007 NFL Draft.

And now they’ve reunited. The Giants today signed Meriweather, a nine-year veteran and two-time Pro Bowler, to shore up the back of their defense, which has been depleted by injuries.

“Once a Cane (Miami Hurricane), always a Cane,” Beason said after practice. “So to me, it’s about putting the band back together. We played all four years together, he was All-American, he was the quarterback of our defense and got everybody lined up. Extremely intelligent player, could be coaching one day. Understands fronts, run fits, coverage, entry angles, how to break on the ball. That’s how you get big hits, taking the proper steps and anticipation. He’s going to help us tremendously, a veteran, another voice back there, and I think it’s going to make our secondary a lot better.”

“That’s my brother,” Meriweather said. “It’s like going to a family reunion. It’s like getting back with your brother. In his and my case, getting back with my little brother.”

Meriweather was the New England Patriots’ first-round draft choice in 2007. Beason was chosen moments later by the Carolina Panthers.

“We had an ongoing bet who was going to go first, and he one-upped me,” Beason said. “It was all good.”

“I beat him, he knows that,” Meriweather said. “I actually thought he was going to go first, but yeah, I beat him.”

Meriweather spent four seasons with the Patriots and has also played for Chicago and Washington. He was a Pro Bowler in 2009-10. So was Beason, who was traded here on Oct. 4, 2013.

Of course, the Giants are far less interested in their friendship than they are in how well Meriweather can play. With Nat Berhe (calf), Landon Collins (knee) and Mykkele Thompson (Achilles tendon, out for the season) sidelined, they need help at safety.

“I’m excited, man,” Meriweather said. “Anytime you can come to a great organization, you’ve always got to be excited and ready to help.

“I’m going to go in and I’m going to put my all into it. I’m going to get with coach every day until I get it the way I knew every other defense.”

Asked if he is still the player who was selected to two Pro Bowls, Meriweather said, “I know I am.”

Meriweather was thrown into the fire in the full-pads practice, taking far more reps than he anticipated.

“They actually threw me in and I didn’t know I was going to get that many reps at all,” he said. “I thought I was going to do some running around, but not that.

“It’s always good to learn on the fly. It’s always good just to learn, just throw them in and let them sink or swim. That’s the way you learn.”

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Jon Beason Feels Good

LB Jon Beason was on the field for 13 plays in his first game following last season’s foot surgery.

“I feel good, I feel healthy, I feel like I was quick to the ball, explosive,’’ Beason said. He was not credited with a tackle and said he was trying to show new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo that he’s learning the system.

“I was just trying to do my job,’’ Beason said. “I just want to show Coach I understand what I’m doing and trying to be where I needed to be when I needed to be there. For the most part it was good, but you want to be more impactful, you want to make more plays to get off the field.’’

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Jon Beason sets "Ironman" goals for 2015

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Jon Beason began his NFL career as an ironman. He started every game in each of his first four NFL seasons, 64 in all, for the Carolina Panthers.

Beason started the 65th game, on Sept. 11, 2011. But he tore his Achilles tendon that afternoon and has since been on the field far more rarely than he was earlier. In the last five seasons, he has played in just 24 games, starting 22. In 2014, Beason was right on his average for the last half-decade, playing four games (all starts) for the Giants.

But this year, Beason is confident he will return to the levels of durability and production he enjoyed early in his career. He is healthy, excited, and there’s no place he prefer to be than on the field in training camp with his teammates.

“This is the first year I’ve come in and not been injured or going through the process of going through rehab,” Beason said today. “I feel strong, I just need more reps, I need more contact. New system, obviously, with Coach Spags (Steve Spagnuolo, the team’s new defensive coordinator), so the more reps I get, the more time in it is going to help me.”

Beason said his relative inactivity the last few seasons has the side benefit of reducing the wear and tear on his body.

“That’s the one side that no one really looks at,” he said “The years that I was on I.R., I don’t have those years of pounding throughout the season. I should be fresher and be considered younger than I really am.”

Beason’s physical condition and mental outlook are both vastly improved over what they were a year ago. On June 12, 2014, he suffered a foot/toe injury in an organized team activity. He missed all of training camp and the preseason, though he did start the first two regular-season games. But he played in just two more before undergoing season-ending surgery. Not coincidentally, the defense ranked 29th in the NFL (allowing 375.8 yards a game) and 30th vs. the run (135.1), and the team allowed at least 400 points in a season for just the fifth time in the franchise’s 90-year history.

Significant improvement is expected this season, and not just because of the return of Spagnuolo (who coached two top 10 defenses here in 2007-08). The middle linebacker is healthy and doesn’t back away from the opinion that if he stays that way the defense can be good, and if he’s not, the unit might struggle.

“That’s the best kind of pressure,” Beason said. “You know, it’s an opportunity to do something great when people put a lot on you. Obviously, I think I can do a lot. I think, when healthy, I think we’re a better team, a better defense. The pressure of that, it pushes me, it drives me to do more.”

But can he stay on the field? In 2011, he had the Achilles injury. The next year, left knee and right shoulder injuries limited him to four games. In 2013, he played in 15 games, including 12 for the Giants. But last season he was on the field for just a quarter of the season.

Call him injury-prone if you wish, it won’t bother Beason.

“Football is injury prone,” he said. “It’s seriously out of your control. That’s the most frustrating part about it. When people say that this happens to one guy more than not, there’s been great players that never were - high school, college players that never were, due to injury. So, I’m blessed, I’m fortunate to have come this far, to have the time that I have, I enjoy it. Now, I just focus on being in the moment and enjoying the very next rep, because I know that’s all that is guaranteed.”

Beason is certainly not being overly cautious in trying to stay healthy. He has been on the field for every practice. Today, the Giants are in full pads for the first time, a circumstance Beason would prefer to see far more often, which happened when he entered the NFL as the Carolina Panthers’ first-round draft choice in 2007.

“I miss that,” Beason said. “With the new CBA, I understand taking care of guys’ bodies. Everything has changed so much. But the two-a-days, pads every day, banging every day helps you. Think about the brand of football that you see during preseason. It’s sloppy. The teams that get it figured out, hopefully they come out Week One looking good. Blocking and tackling is always at a premium when you’re trying to take care of guys. So you take advantage of these full-padded days because you know that’s the game. On Sunday, there’s no tagging off. So, we need to work our craft.

“I’m just happy to get my feet back under me, be back out here working hard. Missed the heat, missed the battles. I’m happy for 9-on-7 (running drill), actually it’s a blessing for 9-on-7 today. I just want to get out there and get my nose bloody a little bit, and get back in the swing of things.”

Seriously, he won’t be upset if his nose is bloodied – though he’d prefer to bloody someone else’s nose. He is, after all, a linebacker with 811 career tackles.

“Sometimes that’s the cost of doing business, Beason said. “They say, ‘You look bad, but you should look at the other guy,’ right? It’s a huge respect factor.

“When you’re doing something you feel like you were born to do, I tend to get excited about that. It’s tough, but I like it that way.”

So do the Giants, especially if Beason can stay on the field this season.

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Jon Beason: I better not be limited in training camp

The 2014 season was an especially tough one for New York Giants linebacker Jon Beason. After emerging as the defensive leader in 2013, Beason was forced to miss the majority of the 2014 season with a toe injury.

During the Giants' spring practices, Beason was a limited participant as he worked his way back from injury. As the giants get set to host their first practice of training camp on Friday, Beason expects to be a full participant. Beason wants to fly to the ball and lead by example, but if the coaches ask him to take a snap or two off during camp, he will oblige.

"I better not be (limited), but if the boss says that I’m limited, then I will be," Beason said to reporters on Thursday, per Big Blue Interactive. "It’s hard to lead from the back and obviously, as a leader, you want to lead by example, so you need to be out there taking all the reps, running to the ball, practicing hard, to set that example. Then when you tell someone they need to do the same, then it’s a merit to it. It’s on the film as opposed to you doing a rep or two, come out, we’re being smart, but then how do you get on a guy about practicing hard, so I hope not."

Earlier this week, Beason elaborated on his current status in an interview with Steve Serby of the New York Post.

"I feel great. I can tell you I feel the best I’ve felt in four years," Beason said.

In 2015, the Giants' defense gets even younger, and former leaders like Justin Tuck and Antrel Rolle are no longer with the team. The Giants certainly hope that Beason can emerge as a leader of the defense, just like he did in 2013.

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Jon Beason reflects on what it's like to have his passion taken away

For some NFL players, football is their one true passion. You've seen stars of the past have trouble walking away from the game even when all signs point in that direction. Just look at Brett Favre's final few years in the league. New York Giants linebacker Jon Beason is another human being who is built in that mold.

In 2014, a serious toe injury forced Beason to miss the majority of the regular season. Beason was also forced to miss most of the team's offseason program. The result was a world without football for a player who has centered his life around the game.

When speaking to reporters on Thursday, Beason was asked if he can relate to what Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz is currently going through as he attempts to make a comeback from a gruesome patella tendon injury. What transpired was an honest and insightful look into what Beason and many other NFL players go through when they are forced to miss an extended period due to injury.

'I think there are some benefits to having something you love taken away from you," Beason told reporters, per Big Blue Interactive. "In my situation, maybe one too many, I will say. I think when you can step back and see how the games just keep going. Someone else takes your position, and the games are still sold out, fans are still crazy about the Giants. You thought you were a big part of the equation and then you realize you are really just paying rent. I think there are some benefits in that, having it taken away from you, and I think you value it when you get it back. I look forward to him (Cruz) having a huge season this year."

Both Beason and Cruz have avoided the dreaded PUP list, and both players will be participating in training camp's opening practice on Friday. Cruz will most likely be eased into things, but Beason expects to be a full participant.

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Jon Beason: I feel the best I have in four years

The 2014 season was a lost year for New York Giants middle linebacker Jon Beason. After helping to turn a potentially league-worst defensive unit in to a respectable group in 2013, Beason entered 2014 with high expectations.

An early offseason toe injury lingered and Beason was only able to grind his way through four incomplete games before being placed on injured reserve. After an extensive rehab, Beason feels like he's in better health now than he has been in a long time.

"I feel great. I can tell you I feel the best I’ve felt in four years," Beason said to Steve Serby of the New York Post. "I feel young. I feel like a kid again — but then I have to eat those words (chuckle) if something happens."

After coming over from the Panthers in 2013, Beason was a revelation for the Giants' defense. He immediately took over the leadership and play-calling duties at the MIKE linebacker spot.

The Giants' defense will benefit from getting a leader back, and Beason will likely have a similar role in new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's scheme. Beason described what it will be like to play in the middle of Spagnuolo's defense:

"Spags (Spagnuolo) is not afraid to put more onus on the players. Everyone has the opportunity to step up and say something and orchestrate the defense, and personally, I’m not used to that. I’m used to it all be on me, but at the same time, I like the freedom of it. It’s a lot of pressure on guys who have not been a Mike linebacker per se in this league, but that’s the beauty of it. If we can get it down, look out, because we could be really scary."

If Beason can get back to his 2013 form, the Giants could boast their best linebacker corps since the last time Spagnuolo was coordinating the Giants' defense. Second year linebacker Devon Kennard is expected to breakout and the Giants really like what they've seen from free agent acquisition J.T. Thomas. Beason will be the leader of the group, and potentially of the entire defense now that Antrel Rolle has moved on from the team.

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Jon Beason is Nearing Full Health: “I Feel Like a Kid Again”

It's been a long, long time since linebacker Jon Beason last considered himself fully healthy. In fact, the New York Giants defensive captain has played in only 22 out of a possible 64 games over the past four seasons, and only once over that span did he play in more than four games in a season (2013).

Needless to say, that reality has bothered him just as much as it's bothered the team and their fans.

"I don’t think fans realize how much of an impact having your dream, or something you thought you were born to do, taken from you has on you as a person. Nothing would make me happier personally than to go out and play ball at a high, consistent level, 1, for myself, for my family … but also for the fans," Beason told the New York Post. "(It's) like, “When is enough enough?” You find that there’s some benefit to having something that’s very valuable to you taken away from you because you realize how much it means to you."

Over the last four years, Beason has dealt with a multitude of injury issues, ranging anywhere from his knee to his back to his toe. His toe, of course, being the most recent and most concerning issue, twice landing him on sidelines a season ago — the first was considered more precautionary, while the second was of the season-ending variety.

Earlier this week, Beason admitted the toe would require "constant maintenance" for the remainder of his NFL career.

"I'm sure the Giants will force me into being smart about reps and the workload, I'll do what I can to listen them, but at the same time, do what I have to do to prepare and get ready for the season," Beason said.

Despite the long-term requirements of dealing with his toe and the likelihood that the Giants will proceed with caution at the start of training camp, Beason insists that he's almost fully healthy and feeling as good as he has in many years.

"I feel great. I can tell you I feel the best I’ve felt in four years. I feel young. I feel like a kid again — but then I have to eat those words if something happens," Beason said.

And as it relates to the 2015 season and the expectations within the Giants organization. Well… Beason summed them up nicely.

"From top to bottom, it’s a sense of urgency, the house is burning, the time is now. It’s unacceptable, and that’s been echoed extremely loud — from ownership, management, coaching and obviously all the way down to the players. It’s just unacceptable," Beason said. "I expect to win the whole thing. If you’re not in it to win championships, what are you in it for? I expect to make the playoffs, yes."

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Jon Beason might have training camp reps limited

Few Giants defensive players have expressed more excitement than Jon Beason about playing in a new scheme under defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

But in order for Beason to fill the "Mike" role that Antonio Pierce did for Spagnuolo, he has to stay on the field, and it sounds as if the Giants are going to handle the veteran linebacker with caution in order to make that happen. 

Beason, speaking with Bruce Murray and Rich Gannon on Sirius XM NFL Radio, said that while he's "chomping at the bit" to hit the field again after missing all but two games in 2014 with a toe injury, the Giants will probably limit his reps initially. 

"I'm sure the Giants will force me into being smart about reps and the workload, I'll do what I can to listen them, but at the same time, do what I have to do to prepare and get ready for the season," Beason said. 

While Beason is months removed from surgery, and participated in most offseason practices, he indicated that the toe will require continuous maintenance to get through a full season — from regular taping to orthotics, to special-made cleats.

Beason believes that the toe injury is a result of wear and tear brought in by the proliferation of field turf in the NFL as opposed to grass. 

"A big part of it is the turf, it's not great for our bodies and it changes based on position," Beason said. "They'll come to learn that it's unforgiving and learning how to plant and cut on it is key. If you're an older guy, like I never played on turf in high school, I was well into college before this turf thing became big. I always played on grass, where you learn how to cut and plant and you know the limitations of grass, how it gives. I think the younger kids have a better understanding of turf because they play on it at a younger age." 

But with his injury issues hopefully behind him, Beason now is tasked with helping the Giants improve their 29th-ranked defense. He told Gannon and Murray that he likes the fact that the defense will dictate to the offense, not vice versa, and revealed that Spagnuolo has one recipe for improving the Giants' ranking: Eliminating yards after contact. 

"There's a number that [Spagnuolo] mentioned the first day that we started our offseason program, it's 1,507, that's the amount of yards we gave up after contact," Beason said. "Not so much scheme, but getting guys down at the first opportunity. We can go from 29 to the early teens, close to a top=10 defense, just based on getting guys on the ground. 1,507 we want to eliminate that number, that's something that we worked on really hard this offseason, proper leverage, technique, and tackling."

Of course, eliminating that extra yardage would be made easier with a certain defensive end in the lineup. The uncertainty surrounding Jason Pierre-Paul's availability for this season after getting his index finger amputated in a fireworks accident creates another challenge for Beason and the Giants' defense to overcome. 

Beason intimated that he reached out to Pierre-Paul about the "freakish" injury, but did not hear back. He could only say what many of his other teammates and ex-teammates have expressed about their star defensive end: Get better, and we'll welcome you with open arms when you return. 

"First thing you hope is that he's healthy and then how is he feeling as a person?" Beason said. "I'll tell you what, when you make a big mistake like this and it costs you and the people around you, the media's not so friendly. You read the reports, and you turn on the TV, and you feel for the guy because you know him, you know his intent, you know what type of guy he is, he's all in, he's a good-hearted person, and probably one of the most giving people believe it or not, that you will meet.

"You just hope that him as a person that he can come to terms with it, and hopefully there's some way to continue to play football because he had tremendous upside, very rare talent, and Giants nation still loves him and we wish him well."

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Why Jon Beason is more important to the New York Giants than you think

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants middle linebacker Jon Beason is a year removed from the foot injury that cost him basically all of the 2014 season. He hasn't played a full 16 games since 2010. For those reasons, the Giants are taking it slowly with Beason this spring, limiting his practice work in an effort to maximize his chances of playing as many games as possible once those games start to count.

"It's basically a non-issue," Beason said after Monday's OTA practice. "I'm only limited based on the time of year."

In the meantime, Beason said, the time spent learning Steve Spagnuolo's defense has him thinking back to his school days.

"It makes you feel young again," Beason said. "You're sitting there in meetings and obviously you have to pay attention so you can take it all home with you and get ready for the next install. It's exciting."

Which is a big part of the plan for the Giants' defense this year, and a big reason why Beason matters.

Remember the story from rookie minicamp about how Spanguolo, who's back for a second tour of duty as Giants defensive coordinator, has been challenging his players to learn about the history of the Giants' defense? It's a good idea. Spagnuolo is wise to lean on the Giants' star-studded defensive history, as it is among the more potentially effective motivational tools available to him. And there's a real chance that this year's Giants defense is going to need to be quite highly motivated in order to succeed.

Yes, it is only June, and many surprises both positive and negative await the Giants and every other team between now and September. But on paper, at this point, a Giants defense that ranked 29th in the league last year looks as though it could be grossly outmanned in 2015. And if that's the case, its coaches and leaders need to make sure the emotion and the intensity get and stay as high as possible to help overcome the personnel deficiencies.

As of right now, the starting safeties would be Cooper Taylor and rookie Landon Collins. The pass rush after Jason Pierre-Paul is loaded with question marks. Pierre-Paul himself hasn't been to a practice yet, though that is his right and the Giants aren't worried about getting him up to speed, but if he were to get hurt, the defensive line would suddenly look like a major weakness. They're not as deep at cornerback as they were this time last year, and the linebacker group, as usual, scares no one.

You are welcome, as a fan, to hope as much as you'd like. Especially in June. But an impartial look at the Giants roster reveals a defense that's going to have to play way over its head in order to succeed. Spagnuolo likely knows this and is trying to do what he can to make that happen. Sowing seeds for that in April, May and June can absolutely have an effect in September and beyond.

But Beason's a part of this as well. He was the one whose arrival jump-started a lackluster Giants defense in 2013. He was the one who took over the on-field general role and calmed everyone down. He was the one who encouraged teammates to go to then-coordinator Perry Fewell with their ideas about how to simplify things, and who helped convince Fewell to listen.

Beason's a fine player when healthy, but those intangibles are a big part of the reason the Giants re-signed him after 2013. He understands his role as on-field and locker room leader. He's spoken to Antonio Pierce, the former Giants middle who was part of the 2007-08 defense that helped beat the unbeaten Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, about the importance of the middle linebacker in Spagnuolo's scheme. (Pierce, now an ESPN NFL analyst, was in East Rutherford last Thursday to address the defense as part of Spagnuolo's ongoing history lessons.) And he's already talking up the idea that this defense, with the return of himself, Prince Amukamara, Robert Ayers and Trumaine McBride from injury, could be better than it was last year.

"I think we're a lot healthier, and that's the important part," Beason said.

It's one of the most important parts. But improved health isn't likely all the Giants' defense needs to take a big leap in 2015. It will need to get and keep the energy and intensity as high as possible. And that's why Beason matters.

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Healthy Jon Beason should revitalize Giants' defense

On Friday, it will be a year.

June 12, 2014, was the day Jon Beason was running across a grass field at a Giants OTA workout and felt a pinch in the bottom of his foot. He had to be carted away from practice, tried to rehab the injury without surgery (which included a lengthy immobilization and missing all of training camp), and played only four regular-season games before he was forced to have a corrective procedure.

The injury weakened the Giants' defense, undermined his role as a leader and was one of the medical issues that contributed to a miserable season.

Which is why when Beason was asked on Monday if he believes the unit is better than its abysmal ranking in 2014, he responded in the affirmative.

"We're a lot healthier, too," he said. "That's everything. That's the most important part."

For Beason, throughout his career, it has been. When he's able to be on the field, he's a dynamic player. But too often injuries have kept him away.

So far this spring, he's been feeling good.

"I'm able to run around and it feels great," the middle linebacker said. "Change of direction feels good. It is literally a non-issue. We are just being smart. I'm still limited just based on the time of year."

He said if the season were to start this week, he'd be ready to play -- at least physically. Mentally, he still has some learning to do when it comes to Steve Spagnuolo's new schemes.

"You're sitting there in meetings and you obviously have to pay attention and go home every day and get ready for the next install," Beason said. "Not even just watching myself, but watching everybody. Every rep that I can get, mentally, on the iPad, has been clutch so far. Just trying to go through it and get familiar with it so you know it like the back of your hand.

"It makes you feel young again," the 30-year-old Beason noted.

If it makes his play young again, the Giants will be all for that, too.

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Giants new defense is 'most complex' that linebacker Jon Beason has ever seen

Giants linebacker Jon Beason is on the fifth defensive coordinator in eight professional seasons. Clearly, the cerebral middle linebacker has seen plenty of schemes and defensive approaches.

Still, he's admittedly never seen anything quite like what new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is bringing to the table.

Spagnuolo, the Giants coordinator when they won Super Bowl XLII, is known for his sophisticated, attacking style. He sends pressure from every position on the field. It's in no way simple. If anything, it's complicated.

"It's the most complex system I've been in," Beason said during an interview on Sirius XM's Opening Drive with former NFL offensive linemen David Diehl and Ross Tucker. "It's my fifth defensive coordinator and it's more complex because we will not sit back and be dictated to by anybody."

On the heels of the past few seasons filled with too frequent breakdowns on the backend, it's an interesting comment. The common complaint was that former defensive coordinator Perry Fewell's system was too complicated. Every year it would Inevitably have to be simplified (see this 2013 example) so they were more about execution than causing chaos.

It may have compromised the unit's success.The Giants finished 29th in total defense last season, and were even forced midstream to modify their teaching methods.

Therein lies a potential key to the Giants 2015 season. How they teach Spagnuolo's defense and whether it sinks in to avoid similar breakdowns will be vital.

The Giants seem to have a lot of players with their hands all over the defense already. It will be imperative they are all on the same page.

"[The defense is ] is very different," Beason said. "Offense creates problems by formations, moving people around, shifts, motions. It's all built into every call where we can make a change. Obviously there is a lot more pressure on the [middle] linebacker, but [Spagnuolo] puts the onus on the [strongside] linebacker, the [weakside linebacker], the safeties, everybody has a call. Even the defensive linemen are expected to know a lot more as opposed to relying on the check of a [middle linebacker]."

It's not exactly what Spagnuolo was doing the first time around with the Giants. He's made some changes after stops as the head coach for the Rams, defensive coordinator for the Saints and as an assistant with the Ravens.

This Giants defense will be unique, but not completely overhauled.

"We've got some tweaks," Spagnuolo said several weeks back. "We're not going to venture too far personnel-wise because of what we have and try to change things too much, but the good thing about being in a lot of different places, whether it was St. Louis, New Orleans or Baltimore, is you can pick from other places. Nobody in this league is sharing information. So when you try to get little tidbits from other coaches, nobody is giving that info, but if you're able over the course of whatever it was, five or six years, to come up with some different things, we'll add those in and hopefully we'll come up with something really good."

So far it's being well received. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie thinks it plays into the skillset of the cornerbacks, who will play physical at the line of scrimmage. The defensive linemen are excited about the possibilities of moving around and attacking the quarterback from different angles and positions.

Most of all, they're enthused by the new approach.

"It's a great system because we're going to be aggressive and we're going to be ready for whatever an offense does," Beason said. "So I'm looking forward to it."

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Steve Spagnuolo sees Jon Beason possibly filling Antonio Pierce role on defense

EAST RUTHERFORD — Steve Spagnuolo knows Antonio Pierce isn't walking through the Giants' locker room door on the first day of training camp. Neither is Osi Umenyiora, Michael Strahan, or Antrel Rolle, for that matter.

Still, despite the lack of an unquestioned defensive leader in the locker room, the Giants' defensive coordinator knows it is a matter of time before a player rises to the occasion and seizes that role.

"That's going to take a little bit of time," Spagnuolo said during his first public remarks on Saturday since being re-hired by the Giants. "There are guys in that room that we're working with right now that I know in the past, having listened to other coaches or watching the Giants from afar, that I think there's some good leaders there and I think you always have got to develop more.

"Sometimes when leaders leave the program or system, some guys jump up that you would have never expected. Sometimes leadership lids are removed and guys that you never even would have thought would step to the forefront. I'm anxious to see who that might be."

A natural candidate for defensive captain would be Jon Beason, a middle linebacker who has struggled to stay on the field the past three seasons because of injuries. Beason has all of the attributes that Spagnuolo loved in Pierce: Natural football intelligence, veteran experience, the respect of his peers, and, when healthy, a solid football player, even at 30 years old.

Spagnuolo said the relationship between defensive coordinator and middle linebacker is one of the most important of any coach and player. Pierce acted as Spagnuolo's field general in 2007 and 2008, responsible for getting guys lined up correctly and relaying the defensive calls. Spagnuolo and Beason are starting from ground zero as far as building that trust, but he's seen plenty from the Giants linebacker over his nine NFL seasons to know what he brings to the table.

"I remember Jon coming out of Miami and I have friends down in Carolina that were with him and I remember talking about Jon Beason before he even became a Giant," Spagnuolo said. "Everything was complimentary and you've got to love those guys that like the chess game. [Linebacker] Jameel McClain is the same guy, and I have some experience with him in Baltimore, so it's nice to have a couple of guys like that and I'm sure there'll be some other guys."

McClain and cornerback/safety Chykie Brown are the only two Giants defenders who played under Spagnuolo, having coached both players as a defensive assistant for the Ravens. Spagnuolo said he would lean on those guys to help relay some of the concepts and schemes that are unfamiliar to this group.

"You take the good from all of the places and it will be easier if I'm trying to feed something to the guys about maybe something that we did or the way we did it in Baltimore and they could probably back it up and say he knows a little bit about what he's talking about because we were there, too."

Of course, if Spagnuolo really needs to remind his players that he knows what he's doing, he can always pull out that Super Bowl ring.

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proCane Free Agent Signing Roundup

A lot has happened in the last 48 hours in the NFL as far as Free Agent signings and our proCanes have been at the center of it all with several proCane stars joining new teams. See a recap of all the action below:

Former 49ers RB Frank Gore signed a 3-year $12 million contract with the Indianapolis Colts.

Former Texans WR Andre Johnson signed a 3-year $21 million contract with the Indianapolis Colts.

TE Jimmy Graham was traded from the New Orleans Saints to Seattle Seahawks.

Former Giants S Antrel Rolle signed a 3-year $11.25 million contract with the Chicago Bears.

Former Redskins WR Leonard Hankerson signed a 1-year $1 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons.

OT Eric Winston re-signed with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Former Broncos OL Orlando Franklin signed a 5-year $36 million contract with the San Diego Chargers.

OT Jason Fox re-signed with the Miami Dolphins.

MLB Jon Beason re-signed with the NY Giants.

Notable proCane Free Agents still available: Chris Myers, Brandon Meriweather, Santana Moss, Colin McCarthy, Reggie Wayne, Vince Wilfork, DJ Williams, Darryl Sharpton.

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Giants renegotiate with LB Jon Beason

Linebacker Jon Beason has renegotiated his contract with the Giants, according to

Beason was scheduled to receive a $1 million roster bonus on Tuesday. Due to the renegotiation of his contract, his base salary has been reduced from $5.825 million to $3.7 million.

The 30-year-old linebacker has played four games or less in three of the past four years due to injuries.

His 2014 season was ended due to foot and toe injuries after only four games.

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Jon Beason, Giants working on contract talks

Jon Beason has enjoyed the process of acting as his own agent. But the linebacker is now dipping his toes into the less pleasurable side of the business.

According to Beason himself, he's in the process of renegotiating his contract with the Giants.

While he didn't go into details about some version of a pay cut during an interview with Sirius XM Wednesday, that's what it looks like. Beason is scheduled to make almost $6 million this year, which translates to nearly $8 million against the salary cap.

At the least, some money will have to be moved around.

"As you get older in this league you realize, unfortunately, that it's not just about family or bleeding Carolina blue and black or blue and red," Beason said on Sirius. "They want you to have that perception of what this game is, but it's truly a business. And if you can't produce at a high level often, whether it's through injury or whether you're not playing well, there's going to be some change."

Beason is a great option for the Giants if healthy and added that he's confident he'll remain on the team. Unfortunately for him, he's played in more than four games just once over the past four seasons.

After securing a $16.8 million deal on his own last March, he missed 12 games with a series of foot injuries. The Giants will undoubtedly be looking for another linebacker via the draft and free agency, but do hope Beason is around at the right price to give it another shot.

When he's healthy, he can still transform a defense.

"You kind of see how business works and unfortunately," he said. "When you're making more than league min, you're susceptible to taking a pay cut based on injury. And a lot of that has to do with leverage that the teams have. And what I've learned is, you can't take it personally."

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Giants decline to say if Jon Beason will be back

Giants GM Jerry Reese declined to say whether MLB Jon Beason will be back in 2015.

"Jon is under contract. We will see where that goes," were Reese's comments. Beason has a $6.7 million cap hit, with $900K of his $3.6M salary guaranteed. He's a candidate for a pay cut after appearing in four games last year due to injuries. The Giants would save $4.3 million by releasing Beason, but leave $2.4M in dead money.

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Jon Beason believes he'll thrive with new Giants 'D' coordinator Steve Spagnuolo

PHOENIX - Jon Beason said he is looking forward to earning the trust of new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and becoming his new Antonio Pierce.

Beason, appearing on Radio Row at the Super Bowl on Thursday, said he was "a big fan" of Spagnuolo and Pierce in 2007, his rookie season in the NFL. The Giants won a championship that season.

Just the way they talked about [Pierce], the way he orchestrated the defense where you didn't handicap yourself," Beason said. "He was allowed to check out of things and I think they were on one accord.

"A lot of coordinators are not like that,'' he said. "They spend so much time looking at tendencies and scheming that you make a good call and it's a good call versus what they do, that personnel group, or that down and distance." But things change on the field, and that's the flexibility Beason craves.

"That's what I'm most excited about," he said. "I'm hoping I don't feel as handcuffed as it is typically in the NFL. If I can learn it the way Spags knows it, he'll allow me to not be dictated to by what the offense is. When they check, we can check. That's what I look forward to the most."

Beason has yet to speak with Spagnuolo, but he knows about him.

"I know the name, I know the scheme, I know how he was innovative and how he changed the fire zone package," Beason said. "From what I hear, he's like [Tom] Coughlin; he's very consistent and he runs a tight ship. Any time you do that, you can win games because it's a certain way. This is the way we do things, and if you don't do it, then you're going to be out. That's fine. I understand that. You buy into a system and that's the best way to win.''

Beason still is rehabbing from toe surgery for an injury he suffered last spring that robbed him of most of the 2014 season. He is walking with a slight limp but is out of a boot. He said he is working on exercises to teach his brain to "fire off" on the reconstructed toe. He said he expects to be cleared for running in February.

"It's coming along,'' he said. "We're going to take advantage of the time. It's January and it's feeling really good. I fully expect to be rolling around and getting the troops ready in April, when I believe you really do win a championship."

That's also when he likely will get a chance to meet with Spagnuolo. Rules in the collective-bargaining agreement severely limit contact between coaches and players in the offseason, so Beason won't have a chance to get an early jump on studying the new defense. But he did imagine what his first conversation with Spagnuolo will be like.

'"Hey buddy, listen, I expect great things,' " Beason said when asked what he will say to Spagnuolo. " 'I'm going to come to you and I expect you to lead the guys. I'm going to hold you accountable for a lot. That's how it is . . . I'm going to do my best to do my job at a high level and just my job. And if you can bring a few guys along with you, whether young guys or veteran guys, I think that's the best of both worlds.' "

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Jon Beason on `Deflate-Gate': It's Not Surprising

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Jon Beason Could be Early Cap Casualty for Giants

When the New York Giants acquired Jon Beason from the Carolina Panthers it was a move the team had to make and it paid off with an improved run defense. Last offseason, the Giants signed Beason to a three-year deal worth up to $19 million with $7 million of that guaranteed. The average annual hit is about $6 million for the Giants and that coupled with his injury history could mean the Giants will have to move on from Beason.

When Beason was on the field for the Giants he performed very well. He had 104 combined tackles in 16 games across two seasons with the Giants. The problem is only four of those games came this past season. In fact, Beason hasn’t played a full season since 2010, though he did play in 15 games in 2013 between the Panthers and Giants. That was also the only season since 2010 that appeared in more than four games, including this season.

The issue was never Beason’s play on the field but his ability to stay on it. The Giants gambled that Beason could stay healthy for the majority of his contract. That has backfired on them. Beason might still be a serviceable player but certainly not one who is worth an average hit of $6 million in the salary cap era.

The Giants have a lot of holes to fill and two linebackers in Spencer Paysinger and Jacquian Williams, and to a lesser extent Mark Herzlich, who have played key roles for the Giants in recent years and figure to be much cheaper than Beason. Add in the emergence of rookie Devon Kennard and Beason becomes an expensive piece to gamble on.

There is a chance that Beason, who enjoys playing for the Giants, could restructure his contract, something that would allow him to reestablish his value while not hand-cuffing the Giants’ cap situation, but that is only a slim possibility at this point. The Giants would probably need to increase the guaranteed money while decreasing the cap hit, something Beason might agree to.

Linebacker is one area that GM Jerry Reese has pretty much ignored in free agency and has had only moderate success in the draft. It isn’t likely that Reese has changed his opinion too much on the position and could look to allow Kennard an opportunity to take that next step forward. The one question is where does defensive coordinator Steve Spagnoulo see Kennard having the biggest impact, at middle linebacker, outside linebacker or as a super utility guy who plays all over the front seven?

With key free agents to re-sign, especially Jason Pierre-Paul who enjoyed a resurgent season last year, the Giants must decide if Beason is part of their future. If Beason does stay, will he stay healthy enough to have an impact next season? We could find out very soon what the Giants’ decision on Beason is and it looks like he might be a casualty at this moment.

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Jon Beason's contract and whether it makes sense for Giants to bring him back

Giants middle linebacker Jon Beason insists nine toes would've worked just fine, as long as it wasn't either of the big ones that had to be sacrificed.

Beason tried desperately to play this season with nine. He wore a special shoe and attempted to run with his injured right big toe pointing towards the sky. It wasn't possible. He was forced to shut it down after playing in parts of four games this season.

The Giants defense was hurt by his absence. They finished ranked 29th overall. They were 30th against the run. Beason's overall presence as the signal-caller and his prowess against the run were sorely missed.

On the surface, his return next season appears desperately needed ... except there is a lot that goes into the equation. Money is one factor. Durability and age are others. Combined they will likely determine whether the Giants bring Beason back for next season and beyond.

Let's explore.

Can Beason Be Trusted?

This isn't a knock against Beason as a person or even his on-field performance. It's the reality for a player that has stayed on the field for 24 games over the past four years because of injuries. That's an average of six games per season (I know, I'm exceptional at math).

It seems almost foolish to pencil in a player that has managed to play more than four games in a season just once over the past four years at the most important spot on a defense. The middle linebacker calls the plays, makes sure everyone is aligned properly and knows their assignments. When that is missing, you have the 2014 Giants, who allowed 62 pass plays of 20 or more yards and had enough coverage breakdowns to last three seasons.

Can the Giants risk that happening again if Beason can't last the 2015 season? Can they afford to put their defense in the hands of an injury-prone middle linebacker who will be 30 years old later this month? It's hard to imagine, at least without there being a strong backup plan.

The Money
The injury history/reliability factor combined with Beason's contract make his return especially flimsy. The veteran linebacker is due a $3.6 million base salary, a $1 million roster and can earn another $1.2 million in per game bonuses. His salary cap figure is a whopping $7.37 million.

Here's the full breakdown of the three-year deal Beason signed last offseason:

Terms: 3 years, $17 million
2015 Details
$3.6M base salary
$1M Roster Bonus (due on the fifth day of the league year, March 15)
$1.2M Roster Bonus Per Game
$100K Workout Bonus
$750K Not Likely to Be Earned Incentives (NLTBEs)
$7.37M Cap Number
$5.9M Cash Value

Savings vs. Salary Cap if Cut: $7.37M - $2.94M (prorated bonus money for 2015 and ’16) = $4.43M

So the Giants could get an extra $4.4 million to spend this offseason if they release Beason. Or they could try to renegotiate his deal (aka make him take a paycut).
Beason, who serves as his own agent, said several weeks back he fully expects to hold up his end of the deal. Of course he does. He can earn $5.9 million next season. That's a nice haul after playing in parts of four games the previous season.

But Beason is a keen businessman, and seems resigned to the fact that the Giants will come to him asking to alter the numbers.

"I believe that there is value there," Beason the agent said of Beason the player last week. "Great value there, maybe more so than they think they have. In my personal opinion, I should feel that way.

"Nevertheless, you're going to do what is best for you and you try to work with the team and do what is best for the team. I know when it comes down to it, [assistant general manager] Kevin [Abrams] and I and [GM] Jerry [Reese] will make it happen."

Taking a pay cut, moving around money, ripping up the previous deal and rewriting a new one are all options. The Giants like Beason and Beason likes the Giants, but this is the business of football.

"There are always ways a team can work with a guy," Beason said. "We'll cross that bridge when it comes."

It seems to be approaching rather quickly. The Giants have a key decision to make at middle linebacker.

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Jon Beason vows to remain a leader in locker room

But it just wasn’t possible for the Giants’ starting middle linebacker, who must undergo season-ending toe surgery.

“That’s just the mentality of a football player, more so a linebacker. It’s a blue-collar position, and I did everything I could,” Beason said Tuesday on WFAN before having the surgery. “Obviously, I want to be out there. I want to be contributing. I want to make things right. Right now things aren’t going well. You’ve got to listen to the doctors. Ultimately, it comes down to a decision based on playing football again. So you have the surgery and you go through the rehab and you come back and you do it again next year.”

In the meantime, the eight-year veteran wants to remain a presence on the team in meetings and practices, echoing coach Tom Coughlin’s sentiments from Monday when the news broke. 

“I think that actually helps you heal faster. Still being around it, it keeps you motivated,” said Beason, who added that he loves the preparation for a game. “It keeps you engaged, and obviously I want to be with my teammates.’’

But before that comes the devastation of having a season cut short.

Unfortunately for Beason, it’s not the first time dealing with this process. He hasn’t made it through a full 16-game schedule since 2010 with the Carolina Panthers, playing just 24 games in four seasons since then.

“You take 24 hours, maybe 48 hours, to kind of sulk,” Beason said. “And you’re upset and you’re emotional about it because the end result is so far out. Now you’re talking September 2015. But as soon as you get past that, you know that there’s progress in getting it fixed, knowing that you’re going to be healthy again.

“Attack the rehab, and then you know that if you’re healthy, you’re one of the best, and that’s how I feel. I really feel like if I’m healthy, I feel like I’m the best in the league, and that’s the goal. And that’s what’s going to happen as we go through this rehab process. So it’s sad, but at the same time, you know that you’re moving forward.”

The Giants will have to move forward as well.

And the man they will turn to is Jameel McClain, the key offseason acquisition who has already played in the middle for Beason as his foot and toe troubles lingered since summer.

Beason said he felt good with McClain in there and doesn’t expect a drop-off.

“Well, when we picked him up, right away I was excited about him,” Beason said about the former Baltimore Raven. “He’s definitely a voice, a guy who’s played the MIKE linebacker position. So seeing him throughout the preseason, and obviously I wasn’t a part of the three-game win streak, which he was playing MIKE exclusively. And he’s played SAM. He’s played WILL. He’s a veteran guy. He’s a Philly dude. He’s tough. He’s going to help us.”

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Jon Beason to have season-ending surgery

Last week, Giants linebacker Jon Beason met with doctors to determine whether his season was over as a result of the toe injury that’s troubled him since the offseason.

The answer isn’t a good one for the Giants defense. As reported by multiple Giants beat reporters on Monday, Beason will have surgery to repair the injury and miss the rest of the season as he begins recovering from it.

It’s a blow to the Giants defense as they prepare to face the Colts offense in Week Nine with little room for more losses if they want to compete for a playoff spot this season. While they’ve lost all four games that Beason has played this season, the rest of their linebacking corps isn’t particularly impressive and they’re going to need all the help they can get if they’re going to embark on a major turnaround in the second half of the season.

It’s a big blow to Beason as well. It will leave him with just 25 games played since the start of the 2011 season, with 15 of them coming in the 2013 season. That will likely lead the Giants to consider other options in the middle of their defense come the offseason because it’s not easy to count on a player with a history of being injured more than he’s healthy.

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Jon Beason might shut it down with big toe injury

Giants linebacker Jon Beason told WFAN that it's 50-50 whether he tries to play again this season or has surgery on his injured toe, reports the New York Daily News. Beason, who visited a foot specialist Tuesday, said in the interview that he's playing "without a critical ligament" in his big toe.

Beason returned to action Week 7 but aggravated the injury in the loss at Dallas.

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Jon Beason going to see a foot specialist again

A frustrating season has continued for Giants linebacker Jon Beason.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin told reporters that Beason was going to see foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson after leaving yesterday’s game against the Cowboys.

Beason’s been bothered by a toe problem all season, and may have aggravated it yesterday. He’s missed three games, and hasn’t been able to stay well this season.

If anything, there’s familiarity there, as Anderson knows Beason’s (growing thicker) medical file well since he’s the Panthers’ team doctor as well.

When Beason’s on the field, he’s a difference-maker for the Giants defense. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to this season.

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The special cleats that allow Jon Beason to play for Giants this season

EAST RUTHERFORD -- Giants starting middle linebacker Jon Beason had a line of cleats in his locker this week at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Not all of them were usable at this point and time.

Beason needs special double-carbon-fiber-plated footwear to get on the field these days because of a right foot injury suffered in the spring and aggravated earlier this season. Carbon fiber is stronger than steel.

"That is what I'm giving up to play," Beason said earlier this week as he tried to bend the sole of his shoes without any success.

It's the result of a broken sesamoid bone and torn ligaments in his foot/toe during an Organized Team Activities (OTAs) workout in June, and an aggravation of the injury in a Week 2 loss to the Cardinals. Beason returned for the season opener, but missed three games because of the injury.

He unveiled the "secret weapon" upon his return last week against the Philadelphia Eagles. Both his head coach and defensive coordinator called called him "rusty" in the contest.

The reality is Beason (like most players during a grueling NFL season) is not going to be 100 percent the remainder of this year. He intends to play through the discomfort with the help of his new cleats and a custom-made orthotic.

It's not ideal, but it's better than the alternative -- missing more time and more games.

"This is what got me back," Beason said, pointing to the shoe (see slideshow above from the version he wore in Sunday game in Philadelphia). "If it's too pliable, then my toe just keeps going. It has to stop so I can eventually push off. So it's kind of finding that perfect balance."

Beason needs some flexibility from his footwear so he can explode. If it's too stiff, it would be like trying to run with a wooden block attached to his foot.

It's all taking some getting used to. You could see, particularly on his first few plays against the Eagles, that Beason is getting acclimated to the stiffer feel. He stumbled and almost fell over on one play. He had trouble changing directions on another.

As the game progressed, it was evident he was becoming more comfortable. Beason finished with three tackles and a pass defended on 56 snaps.

There was clearly some progress being made. Even after coach Tom Coughlin expressed concerns in previous weeks about Beason playing on turf, he was out of the field with his teammates on Thursday when the Giants practiced indoors.

Beason's been working tirelessly to make sure his healthy improves, both for the short term and the season. The toe is vital to his success. He still works to strengthen the big toe using Thera-Bands. He described it as the equivalent of weight-lifting for your toe.

"Once you have that injury to the toe, you realize how important it is," Beason said.

Cleats too. They go a long way in determining what you can do on the field and, in Beason's case, whether he can get on the field.

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Jon Beason would like to win a game

Jon Beason tried to force a smile when he delivered the one-liner, but it was hard because there was so much truth behind the joke.

"Right now I'm messing it up," he said on Thursday. "When I play, we don't win."

Beason has played in three games this season. The Giants have lost all of them. He has been inactive for three games this season. The Giants have won all of them. That is certainly little more than coincidence, but it is something Beason would like to rectify on Sunday against the Cowboys.

Beason played last week against the Eagles for the first time since aggravating his toe in Week 2. He had three tackles credited to him.

"I thought I moved pretty well," he said. "I read plays well. I'd like to be more active. That's the starting point coming off an injury with a limited amount of practice. I was somewhat happy to make it through the game. Obviously I want to build on that. I can play a whole lot better. I have to play better."

Tom Coughlin said Beason has been practicing fully the last two days and said Beason is making "good progress." He said that Beason's energy and enthusiasm have been the same that he provided last season, and that the production should be following soon.

Beason said he still feels limited in practices.

"I would like not to be, but everything is about Sunday," he said. "It's on the back burner in my mind how many snaps I'm taking in practice. I just know that I'm ready to go and try to get this win on Sunday."

Which, as he knows, would be his first of the year.

"You say, 'Hey, do your job, do it hard, and hopefully you can be a reason why we win as opposed to a reason why we don't.'"

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Jon Beason working

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants middle linebacker Jon Beason was participating in practice Wednesday, during the portion open to the media.

Beason has missed the past three games with a foot/toe injury, but could return for the Giants' NFC East clash against the Eagles in Philadelphia on Sunday night.

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Jon Beason held out against Atlanta Falcons to avoid setbacks

Defensive captain and middle linebacker Jon Beason missed a third straight game on Sunday. Tom Coughlin said the decision to sit him against the Falcons was based on the foot and toe injury "and the projection . . . as to how far he could go into the game and where he would be if he were to put another solid week in front of him without any kind of setbacks."

In other words, it was better to save him for the two division games than risk him against Atlanta. Oh, and the Giants are 3-0 without him which may happen to further complicate matters.

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Jon Beason thinks he'll suit up for Giants vs. Falcons

EAST RUTHERFORD – Giants linebacker Jon Beason has changed shoes more times than he'd care to this season. He likened finding the right cleats to the search for a dress shoe, most of which are far too narrow for him.

Beason always liked his cleats to be air-tight, but after a sesamoid injury in June, which he aggravated in a Week 2 loss to the Cardinals, he knew he would have to re-evaluate his footwear. A process that brings us to this Sunday.

"There will be an adjustment period, but I feel good about it," Beason said.

He feels good because he'll likely be in the lineup Sunday ("Yeah, I think so," was his official answer). The team's captain and middle linebacker will, at the least, rotate in with Jameel McClain in the center of the defense.

"We just bring him along accordingly," said Coughlin, who would not go as far as admitting that Beason would start on Sunday. "He doesn’t take all the snaps the first day he’s back, he takes a few more the second day and we assess that."

Coughlin has said all along that Beason will need to manage pain throughout the season. He opted not to get surgery following his second injury, during Week 2, and submitted to a long season where his threshold will certainly be tested.

"Yeah, you know, you break scar tissue," he said. "We didn't have the surgery so the scarring was actually the repair, if that makes sense. There wasn't as much pain as the first time when it was a soft-tissue injury. You break the scar tissue so I don't have a lot of play in my toe. That is the big hold up. I need by big toe to play football and push off, pivot. You try and compensate for a lack thereof."

In the meantime, he'll try and find the right cleats.

Having Beason in the fold is just another insurance policy against Atlanta's platoon of running backs. Though their offensive line is in a bit of disarray, there's enough firepower there to change the game.

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Jon Beason a no-go for Giants on Wednesday

A nagging foot/toe injury has Giants middle linebacker Jon Beason on the pre-practice injury report for Wednesday, the New York Daily News has reported.

Beason has been inactive for the last two games. He was scratched after being deemed doubtful for the Week 4 game at Washington.

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Jon Beason returns

Jon Beason, who was doubtful heading into Thursday's game, appears to be back and practicing. I would expect him to at least be considered "limited" today based on his work in individuals.

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Jon Beason doubtful

The Giants will likely be without linebacker Jon Beason for tomorrow. Beason was again a limited participant at practice today (toe/foot) but the team may give him another week to recover. As Tom Coughlin said last week, this may be something Beason has to deal with for the remainder of the season.

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Jon Beason gets in limited practice Tuesday

Giants MLB Jon Beason (toe) returned to practice on Tuesday, getting in a limited session.

Beason was technically "limited" on Monday, but it was just an approximation, as the Giants didn't actually practice. Beason's aggravation of his offseason injury clearly isn't as serious as first feared, but he remains much more likely to return in Week 5 than suit up for Thursday's game against the Redskins. Jameel McClain will again start in his absence if he can't go.

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Giants may get Jon Beason back vs. Redskins

The New York Giants are facing a short week, but they may have a key player back come Thursday.

Middle linebacker Jon Beason, who sat out Sunday's win against the Houston Texans because of his foot/toe injury, was listed as limited on the official injury report issued Monday, which is a sign of improvement. Giants coach Tom Coughlin held a jog-through practice, three days prior to the team's game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring), linebacker Devon Kennard (hamstring) and cornerback Zack Bowman (quad) did not participate, according to the injury report. (Bowman's injury is the only new one, meaning he almost certainly suffered it against the Texans.)

Punter Steve Weatherford (ankle), offensive lineman James Brewer (back) and offensive lineman Charles Brown (shoulder) were also listed as limited.

The Giants had little time to celebrate their first win of the season, but that doesn't necessarily lessen the impact of the victory.

"It does change just the morale of the team," quarterback Eli Manning said, in a radio interview on WFAN. "There's a little more energy, there's a little more excitement around the locker room today and in the meetings. Guys are upbeat and excited about this week."

The players may be excited, but they're also undoubtedly tired, and have just three days of rest in between games.

"It is always a challenge to have this type of turnaround in the NFL, to go from a Sunday to a Thursday night," linebacker Jameel McClain said, on a conference call with reporters. "How I look at it is, both teams are going through the same thing. It is more of a mental preparation-style week because of the physicality [of the game]. Most people’s bodies don’t really recover until Tuesday or Wednesday."

"It is something where it’s part of the NFL, you have to be able to do that and get your body right," offensive tackle Justin Pugh said. "I think that you have to spend extra time this week outside of being at the facility to get that extra work that you need. Today was important to come in, get in the cold tub and make sure you are getting your body recovered."

Home teams have gone 21-15 on Thursdays since the NFL started playing a Thursday night game each week in 2012. But so far this season the home teams have gone 3-0, winning by 20 points or more each time.

At least the Giants don't have to travel far. They'll be playing a very familiar opponent, and the timing is good, too -- according to the quarterback, at least.

"I like having it the fourth game of the season, rather than the 12th or 13th or something," Manning said. "And it's nice coming after a game where, we [gave up] the one sack, [but] really only one or two hits. Not many hits, and so I feel good today and should feel great on Thursday."

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Jon Beason to See Foot Specialist

Giants middle linebacker and defensive leader Jon Beason plans to visit a foot specialist in Charlotte, N.C., to evaluate the injury he aggravated in last Sunday's game.

Beason said Thursday that he stepped on teammate Jameel McClain's foot during the loss to Arizona and felt a pop. It was the same foot the linebacker injured during a practice in June, when he sustained a fracture and torn ligaments. He said Thursday that he doesn't think he did any new damage, but rather moved scar tissue from the existing injury.

The good news Thursday was that Beason had ditched the walking boot he'd been wearing and said he felt much better. "And when I say a whole lot, that is good," he said after missing his second straight day of practice.

Beason is preparing to play Sunday, but coach Tom Coughlin said he was unsure whether he would play.

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Jon Beason reaggravated foot injury, timetable unclear

New York Giants linebacker Jon Beason's new foot injury is a re-aggravation of his previous injury, the team announced Tuesday.

Beason left Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals in the second half after injuring his foot, which the team first said was a toe injury. The linebacker missed all of training camp after he tore a ligament and fractured the sesamoid bone in his foot in a June OTA. Beason returned to start both of the team's first games.

The Giants said Beason may see specialist Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte but didn't give a timetable for his recovery. According to the New York Daily News, the Giants' announcement means Beason shouldn't miss the rest of the season as feared, but that he is likely out for Sunday's game against the Houston Texans.

Beason, acquired from the Carolina Panthers in a trade last October, had 93 tackles in 12 games with New York last season and has eight tackles so far this season. The Giants promoted linebacker Dan Fox from the practice squad to help replace Beason.

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Jon Beason re-injures foot, leaves in walking boot after Giants loss

EAST RUTHERFORD -- Giants middle linebacker Jon Beason missed all of training camp and preseason with a right foot injury. He also missed a practice earlier this week because of "soreness" in that foot.

So when Beason walks out of the stadium after Sunday's 25-14 loss to the Arizona Cardinals with a walking boot on that foot, there is ample reason for concern.

"Again the toe," coach Tom Coughlin said.

Whatever they want to call it, foot or toe, Coughlin seemed to think it was related to the injury that kept Beason off the field for three months. Beason had an X-ray during the game. The results were not disclosed. The Giants would only say that they'll know more after an MRI on Monday.

Beason fractured his foot during a minicamp practice in June, but didn't undergo surgery. He returned to practice a week before the season opener against the Lions, and started in Detroit despite not playing a single snap in the preseason.

Beason left the contest Sunday against the Cardinals in the third quarter with four tackles and a quarterback hurry. He did not return.

The veteran linebacker left the locker room before reporters were allowed to enter, but said he was fine as he was walked out of the stadium.

That's hard to believe at this point considering he was sporting the boot and missed most of the second half. It also comes on the heels of Beason surprisingly sitting out a day of practice because of what was called "soreness." Coughlin admitted Thursday he didn't know until moments before the workout that Beason, who was changing shoes trying to be comfortable enough to play, would be unable to participate.

On Sunday, he couldn't make it through the entire 60 minutes. Since the Giants were already without rookie linebacker Devon Kennard (hamstring), Mark Herzlich stepped in at middle linebacker and Jameel McClain remained at the strongside with Beason sidelined.

Beason is a team captain and the leader of the defense. Losing him would be a substantial blow as the Giants (0-2) try and right the ship. Beason was a stabilizing force in the middle of the defense and huddle last season.

McClain serviceably filled the void at middle linebacker this summer when Beason was sidelined.

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Jon Beason Named Giants Captain

Victor Cruz said in the spring that he finally wanted to be a Giants team captain.

And now, he is. On Friday, the Giants named their team captains for the season, and the group included a pair of new additions. Cruz and linebacker Jon Beason have joined the ranks of Giants captains. Eli Manning, safety Antrel Rolle and long snapper Zak DeOssie round out the Giants' captain group.

The team was destined to have some new faces among its leadership this season after an offseason filled with turnover. Longtime locker room voice Justin Tuck departed for Oakland, and offensive leaders Chris Snee and David Diehl retired.

But Cruz and Beason were natural fits to assume the captaincy. Cruz is suddenly the elder statesman of a young receiving corps, a mature offensive player. And Beason emerged as a leader practically the moment he took the field as a Giant last season, quickly becoming a steadying presence on defense.

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Jon Beason still on course to play vs. Lions

Everything appears to be on track for Jon Beason's return to action on Monday night, just in time for the opener against the Lions in Detroit.

Beason (toe), who was just activated off the physically-unable-to-perform list earlier this week, was on the field during the portion of practice open to the media on Thursday, and he once again did not seem limited in any way. Giants coach Tom Coughlin also said before practice that Beason remains on course to be in action on Monday night.

That's critical for a Giants team that needs its defensive leader. Beason's return allows Jameel McClain to shift back to outside linebacker, deepening the Giants' well of linebacking options.

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Jon Beason to play vs. Lions in opener barring a setback

EAST RUTHERFORD -- The Giants were without their defensive leader all of training camp. They expect to have him back for the regular season opener on Monday night in Detroit.

Middle linebacker Jon Beason practiced Monday for the first time since fracturing his foot in June. Coach Tom Coughlin thought he looked "OK," but still expected him to play when the season begins next week.

"He just has to practice. He'll have x-amount of snaps at practice and if he comes through the practice week having handled that, then we can expect to play him whatever amount of time we decide to do it," Coughlin said. "If he stays out there, works hard and doesn't have any setbacks, then I think that is the proof right there. The medical people are very confident because of the way he's prepared himself to this point."

Beason was hurt during an Organized Team Activities workout in June. He was given a 12-week recovery time. That took him right up until the opener, with little time to spare.

Beason's right on schedule. He fully expects to play in the opener, despite not having played a single preseason snap.

"I think so," he said. "Obviously you want to gauge where I am mentally, physically and what my role is going to be -- how big, how small. We don't know, but I'm just taking advantage of the reps they're giving me and trying to prove why I need to be out there."

It sounds as if the Giants may use Beason in a limited role Week 1. Maybe that means veteran linebacker Jameel McClain, who filled in admirably for Beason this summer, handles the nickel package snaps along with weakside Jacquian Williams.

McClain is expected to slide to into the starting strongside linebacker spot ahead of rookie Devon Kennard in the Giants base defense as well.

Just having Beason on the field would be a huge plus for the Giants. It's not a coincidence that the defense transformed into a strong unit when he was acquired in a mid-season trade last year. The Giants finished eighth in total defense after an abysmal start.

Beason quickly evolved into one of the team's most respected voices and leaders. Coughlin believes having him on the field, in whatever capacity, helps.

"It definitely will," Coughlin said. "His presence on the practice field will. It's the upbeat, love to play, fly around a million miles per hour, encouraging other people to do the same or better and just how hard he plays. He shows great example by what he does. He loves the game. It's great to have him back out there."

It will be even better if he's out there for the first play on Monday night in Detroit.

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Jon Beason resumes training after bout of food poisoning

Giants linebacker Jon Beason says his toe injury is recovering just fine. But he admitted Wednesday that his overall health took a hit last week.

During a Duracell event, the linebacker said he got only limited rehab done last week, due to a serious bout with food poisoning.

"I was sick last week," Beason told the News. "I got a little food poisoning. I was under the weather. I couldn't train. I was feverish."

Beason said he is feeling much better now, and he looked it during the Duracell event at MetLife Stadium, where he helped the company showcase the power of its batteries. An amazing 650 batteries help power every NFL game on Sundays and Beason noted that he has one in his helmet.

He expects to don that helmet soon, too, and said he will be coming off the physically-unable-to-perform list soon. He said it will take time for him to "transition" into "elite" shape but he is still on pace to play against the Lions in the season opener.

"I'm looking to come off PUP in the next couple days," he said. "I'm doing everything to make sure my conditioning is up to par.

"I feel good. I feel confident that I will be able to go out and contribute on Sept. 8."

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Jon Beason turns up heat on rehab

The dichotomy between Jon Beason's rehab slate and Odell Beckham's was something to behold on Sunday afternoon. The two were working on the same side field but couldn't have looked more different after their workouts.

Jon Beason was going full speed. He was tracking down balls, doing some intricate agility workouts and breaking out into sprints.

Beckham, on the other hand, jogged around the field at 1/4 speed, caught some jogging routes and did some upper body work with a thick set of ropes near the indoor facility.

Needless to say, there seemed to be more optimism about Beason suiting up in the next two weeks than Beckham. Tom Coughlin sounded like a coach at the end of his rope when asked about Beckham possibly being saved up for the regular season at this point.

"I would like the next time someone asks me that to have him out there practicing so I don't have to answer," he said. "You know as much as I do! You're out here watching him every day too! That's all I can tell you. I would like to see the young man practice before he got into the regular season. That would certainly be a good thing."

On Beason, Coughlin says he hasn't gotten any recent updates.

"I don't ask (the medical staff) every day," Coughlin said. "They don't tell me every day. He works on the side and occasionally I'll be close enough to ask him how he's doing or in a meeting I'll say something to him, but his responses are all positive. I feel good. I'm going to do this and this today. Only one time did he say he was a little sore. Everything else has been stuff you would find encouraging."

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Jon Beason wants to tackle everyone

Jon Beason wasn't just rehabbing this summer. He was researching.

He wanted to find out the Giants' single-season record for tackles and who held it. It seemed like a simple task. With 89 years of franchise history he was certain he'd come across a mythic number attached to a mythic name. Sam Huff. Lawrence Taylor. Harry Carson. One of the all-time greats.

What he found, though, is that the queasy nature of the stat meant the Giants' official records don't go back very far. Only to the 2000 season. And the king of the list isn't exactly Giants royalty. As far as the team is concerned, the unofficial record is held by Micheal Barrow who had 148 in 2003, but it's not even listed in their media guide or on their website.

Not exactly Roger Maris' 61 in '61.

"I was told it doesn't exist," Beason said of the benchmark, which the Giants virtually ignore.

He seemed disappointed. But no matter. He plans on topping the list soon enough, even if he has to create his own to do it.

"If that's what it is, then that's the mark," Beason told Newsday with a shrug this week. "One hundred and fifty, I think, is obtainable. I don't think it's anything that is far-fetched to be honest."

Not if he plays like he did with the Panthers early in his career and in part of last season with the Giants. When the Panthers credited him with 160 tackles as a rookie in 2007 (ironically breaking the team record that was held by Barrow as well), he didn't even know he was setting a new mark. The next year he had 159, then in 2009 had 169 followed by 162 in his final fully healthy season in Carolina.

"It became a kind of competition," Beason said. "You always want to do better. So you break it the next year, break it the next year, and you keep setting the standard."

Last year he had 93 tackles with the Giants, but that was playing linebacker in just 11 games after he was acquired in a trade. Prorated to a full season, it's about 135 tackles over 16 games. Beason tacks on a few extra because he was only playing in the base defense early in his Giants tenure.

"It would have put me at about 135 or 140," he said. "Then I was coming off the [knee] injury, I know I wasn't in great shape, and having to learn a new scheme. There were some games I felt like I could have played better in. I want to have more of those big tackle games like I did [with 17] against Washington where you're kind of just blinking. Before I got hurt I would have four or five of those a year where you have 13-, 14-plus tackles."

Which would, of course, put 148 within his sights.

"You look at stats for a guy who is a pretty good linebacker, he'll make 100 tackles," Beason reasoned. "You make 100, you're averaging seven or eight tackles a game. If you play every down, that's a good number. Then based on how you go about your business, the extra effort, the want-to, that's when you get to nine and 10 a game. If you hit that number, now you're the best in the league. It's amazing that the margin is just one or two plays."

There are obviously peaks and valleys, though. Beason said he thinks he can reach the not-quite record even if he misses a game or two. He's still on the physically unable to perform list (PUP) with a foot injury, remember, and hasn't even practiced this training camp. Earlier this week, he ramped up his rehab on the side.

"As far as I know, he's done well," Tom Coughlin said of Beason's response to the added grind. "He's done everything they've asked him to do. The movement on the field and what he's done on the field has been good."

Beason appears close to hitting his targeted date and returning for the Sept. 8 opener against Detroit. Even if he doesn't, he'll still have the tackle goal.
"You don't have to play every game," he said. "When I did the 160, I had games with four or five tackles, but then you have a game where you get 16 or 17. The objective is to do your job."

The objective becomes subjective very quickly, though. Beason's astronomical tackle numbers from Carolina are a bit of a canard. The record-setting stats in the 160s are referenced in the team's media guide and on its website, but they are based off coaches grades and film evaluation. Official NFL stats, which are recorded during the game from the press box without the benefit of a rewind button, credit him with far fewer tackles. Never more than 141 in 2009, in fact. Over the four-year period of Beason's prime in Carolina, the difference between his official tackle numbers and his team-recognized tackle numbers is a staggering 110.

Which is right? Which is more accurate? It's hard to say. But when a player is not credited with a sack or a half-sack during the game, the team can petition the league to have the statistic changed. The same with offensive stats that are routinely corrected. Tackles, though, are written in stone and not reviewed.

"I don't know why they don't do it with tackles," Beason said. "You go back and you had 160-plus for four years but then you end up with 140, 130, 120. One year they were 40 off. It really upsets you. But that's what the stats are."

To whatever extent the Giants do recognize tackles as a statistic, they go by the NFL's numbers and not their in-house tallies. Which will make it more difficult for Beason to break the team's quasi-record. He thinks he can, which is why he went digging for the information in the first place.

"Anytime you do anything," he said, "you want to know who was the best at it."

Beason expects to be the best for the Giants. Even if it doesn't actually count.

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Jon Beason pushing for preseason reps, still on track for season-opener

EAST RUTHERFORD – While the offense continues to try and keep the sky from falling, the defense has gotten some good news: Jon Beason is still on track for the season-opener, and is still pushing to get some snaps in the preseason.

The news is pretty remarkable given that Beason, who as also recovered from a ruptured Achilles and microfracture surgery, continues to fend off serious issues to stay on the field.

"I think so, I feel pretty good, man. I'm going through the progressions," Beason said when asked if he would play against Detroit. "Today should be pretty aggressive getting after it and doing some things based off reaction as opposed to anticipation, which is what we do on defense."

Beason said he doesn't necessarily need to practice, which makes sense given that he's basically run the positional meetings since his arrival last year. He said he'll be confident enough to tell the training staff when he'll be ready.

Beason will wear a larger shoe to fit in some of his custom orthotics, which should help keep the injured area from enduring too much stress. He wants to take his final tests on turf in order to convince himself he is ready. Beason sustained the injury on the Giants' indoor turf field and the team plays a majority of their games on the artificial surface this year.

"I feel like I'm really close, but I have to go out and do it and I want to test it, that's going to confirm it for me," he said. "Obviously, we play a lot of games on turf. Turf is more rigid than grass, so it's going to feel really good on grass. In my opinion, we should only play football on grass, you do yourself a huge service later on."

He is just happy to have the chance to play in a preseason game, though the training staff will likely advise against it because Beason does not need the reps. Sustaining a serious injury at this point in the preseason could be catastrophic for the team.

"Going into it, to have the opportunity to play in the last few preseason games was really the goal," he said. "Whether you do or you don't, because that is not my decision, they might say 'hey, it's not worth risking it to go out and play against the Jets or the Patriots,' but you have the opportunity and that is great."

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Jon Beason progressing, waiting, coaching

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Standing on the sidelines and watching practice while healing from a foot injury has been an eye-opening experience for Jon Beason. The New York Giants' middle linebacker said he's gained a greater appreciation of his coaches' perspective.

"I see how coaches can get frustrated, because you're always right," Beason said. "You've got that great vantage point. You're not tired. You have the script. You get the chance to kind of think about the play longer. So that part of it has opened my eyes, and I get where they come from, their frustration when we don't do things right."

Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said last week that Beason has been in his ear all throughout training camp with opinions and suggestions, and that it's been a help. It's about all Beason can do right now. He broke his foot during OTAs and spends time early in practice running by himself on a back field. He tracks his progress day by day while still hoping he can be ready for the Sept. 8 season opener in Detroit.

"You try to get out there and tax it a little bit, see how it feels, and then everything is based on gauging it the next day," Beason said. "Is it really sore? Is it just a little bit sore? And then if you can have consistent days, then you know you're kind of building up a tolerance. So that's usually the process in any rehab. Toes are a little iffy, because it doesn't take much pain to have irritated feet, makes it hard to change direction, especially as a defensive player where you have to do a lot of reacting."

Beason said earlier in camp that he hoped to play in at least one of the Giants' preseason games. But there's no way he'll be ready for Saturday night's game in Indianapolis, and at this point it would be pretty surprising if he were ready to play the Aug. 22 game against the Jets. That would leave only one more preseason game -- Aug. 28 against the Patriots -- for Beason to fulfill that goal. But he's staying patient.

"It's coming along," Beason said. "We still have time. I'm just trying to listen to the staff, who I trust, and trying to listen to my body. But we are playing on Monday night (in the season opener) and it's still a little over three weeks before the game, so a lot can happen between now and then."

Jameel McClain has been manning the middle linebacker spot in Beason's absence, with rookie Devon Kennard playing the strongside linebacker spot that had been slated for McClain.

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Jon Beason nearing return

New York Giants linebacker Jon Beason says he expects to be ready for week 1 of the regular season. Beason is recovering from a broken bone in his foot, but Dan Graziano at reports that the veteran is getting closer to returning to the field.

Beason went down during OTA's in June. He suffered a sesamoid bone fracture and a torn ligament in his foot. The injury required surgery and a 3-month recovery process.

Sesamoid fractures can occur when an athlete plants his foot sharply, causing the big toe to bend too far upward. Beason says he was changing directions when his injury occurred.

Although Beason has not been able to take part in full practices, he's still on the field soaking up knowledge with his teammates and running.

When he returns, Beason is expected to play the middle with either Jameel McClain or rookie Devon Kennard on the strong side. Jacquian Williams is projected as the weakside linebacker.

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Jon Beason (foot) sprinting on treadmill

Giants MLB Jon Beason (foot) was seen sprinting on a treadmill off to the side of training camp practice Tuesday.

Beason is just six weeks into his 12-week timetable, but appears to be making substantial progress. He wants to play in preseason games. We doubt the Giants will push him out there for meaningless exhibition snaps, but Beason sounds like he's on track for the opener. He remains on the active/PUP list.

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Jon Beason confident he will be ready for start of NY Giants preseason

Jon Beason started his press conference on Friday with a little levity.

“You guys are a little late,” the Giants’ middle linebacker said to the surrounding reporters. “You know, camp started on Tuesday, actually Monday.”

It was a good-natured attempt at humor for a player who was dealing with a frustrating injury. But if anyone’s late to camp it’s Beason, who tore a ligament and fractured the sesamoid bone in his right foot during team activities last month and missed his fourth straight practice on Friday. Beason was in good spirits, however, pronouncing his ability to heal “a little superhuman,” and suggesting he might be able to participate in at least some of the Giants’ five preseason games, which start on Aug. 3 and end Aug. 28.

“I would hope so,” Beason said of receiving preseason snaps. “Based on how I feel, the way things are going, you want to keep making baby steps. If you go too fast and have a setback, all of a sudden you're pushing that timetable of Sept. 8 (the season opener against Detroit). We want to be smart about it. Obviously I'm going to do what they tell me. But I would love to get into the preseason to get some reps.”

Asked if he will be ready for the start of the season, Beason said: “There is no reason now to think I won’t be there, based on how I feel and how I’m progressing.”

Beason suffered the injury on June 12 and was carted off the field during 11-on-11 drills. The news wasn’t all negative because the injury didn’t require surgery, but he is now relegated to running on an underwater treadmill and trying to beat the timetable doctors gave him for returning for the season opener. In his absence, Jameel McClain has assumed the middle linebacker spot, with rookie Devon Kennard taking over at strongside linebacker.

Beason has been injury-prone the past few seasons and was viewed as a bit of a health risk when the Giants inked him to a three-year deal in March.

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Jason Pierre-Paul's advice to Jon Beason: Be 100 percent

Jon Beason is hoping to be back on the field for the Giants' regular-season opener Sept. 8. Last year, Jason Pierre-Paul was in that role of trying to reconcile an offseason injury with an artificial deadline.

"Me personally, I wasn't ready," Pierre-Paul said of returning to the field for the first game in 2013 after back surgery and missing all of training camp and most of the preseason. "I wasn't ready. But I felt like I needed to be out there because I'm one of those guys who is a factor to the team. With me being gone, it's a big difference. Which it was."

Pierre-Paul wound up having the most disappointing season of his career. He never regained his health, never looked comfortable, and hardly ever showed being the dominant defensive player he thought he should have been.

So, does Pierre-Paul have any advice for Beason, whose injury to his foot will force him to miss most of the preseason?

"Honestly all I can tell Jon, and he knows too, is don't come out there if you're not fully healthy," Pierre-Paul said. "We'd rather have you at 100 percent than 50 percent. Honestly, when you're injured, you're liable to injure something else. Which I did. When you are 100 percent and ready to go you're not worried about this, you're not holding back or nothing. He knows, I know he knows. He's not going to come out there until he's healthy."

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Jon Beason won’t run in conditioning test on Monday

Giants linebacker Jon Beason is still planning to play in this year’s season opener after injuring his foot this offseason, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll be practicing when the team opens training camp this week.

Beason told Tom Rock of Newsday that he won’t be running in the conditioning test that his teammates will be taking when camp opens on Monday. That suggests he’ll open up camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list that will bar him from practicing until the team feels sure his foot is ready after this spring’s ligament tear and fracture, although he told Rock he feels he could take the test and that he’s feeling great.

“We’re hitting all those benchmarks in terms of the prognosis. It’s getting better and better every day,” Beason said. “I feel fine right now. But then again I know that I’m not ready to go full speed and change direction and tackle people.”

Beason also added that he’s had seasons without any camp and hit the ground running, but the Giants would surely prefer things play out in a way that allows the veteran to get his feet wet before the games count. Beason’s arrival was a major turning point for the Giants’ defense last season and they are back in similarly undermanned straits at middle linebacker as long as he’s out of the lineup.

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Jon Beason recovering but will start training camp on PUP list

Jon Beason will not participate in Monday afternoon's conditioning test when he and the Giants players report for the start of training camp, but the middle linebacker said he could if he had to and he fully expects to be ready for the start of the regular season Sept. 8.

Beason, who was signing autographs at the team's Health and Fitness Expo at MetLife Stadium Sunday, already has shed the hard cast and walking boot that were the first phase of his non-surgical recovery from a sesamoid bone fracture and a torn ligament in his foot that he suffered during OTAs.

"It's feeling great," Beason said. "We're hitting all of those benchmarks in terms of the prognosis. It's getting better and better every day."

Beason most likely will be designated on the physically unable to perform list Monday. He said his focus while the team is grinding through practices for the next several weeks will be on improving his conditioning and lower-body strength, which suffered during his immobility. He is expected to begin running in about three weeks. "We're taking advantage of the time, but also being smart about it," Beason said. "No setbacks."

In the meantime, outside linebacker Jameel McClain is expected to take over the middle linebacker job. McClain likely will move back to the outside when Beason returns.

Beason said ideally, he would like to spend a little time on the field during the preseason just to get back in the flow of the defense, but he said if he doesn't see action until that Sept. 8 game in Detroit that will not be a major deterrent in his season. He missed most of training camp the last two summers with the Panthers while dealing with other injuries.

"There's a reason why we have the preseason, just to get your feet back under you," he said. "But I've had seasons where I didn't have any training camp and I went out there and I got busy right away . . . Where there's a will, there's a way."

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Giants lose linebacker Jon Beason with foot injury; hopes to be ready by opener

Call it the offseason curse of the linebacker, whatever you want, but yet another high-profile 'backer has gone down in offseason (non-contact) training with a serious injury.

Following the season-ending injuries to the Dallas Cowboys' Sean Lee and the Atlanta Falcons' Sean Weatherspoon, the New York Giants' Jon Beason suffered a foot injury that could keep him on the shelf until September, as first reported by's Kimberly Jones.

The Giants later confirmed the news. Suddenly, Beason is in serious doubt to play in the Monday night opener on Sept. 8 — which is just past the 12-week mark — at the Detroit Lions, but Beason said he remains hopeful he can return for that game.

“The [opener] is within that time frame,” Beason said. “I expect to be back [for that game]. If not, I’ll be back as soon as I can. That’s really how you have to look at it. If it’s not 16 (games played), maybe it’s 15 or 14. Whatever it is, you want it to be that number as opposed to one."

In the meantime, the Giants must have plans to replace Beason and must identify three starting linebackers in case he's out. Jameel McClain, Mark Herzlich and fifth-round pick Devon Kennard all could get reps at middle linebacker, and/or on the strong side, too. Spencer Paysinger will vie for a starting spot, as will Jacquian Williams. But the point is that there suddenly will be a wide-open competition for playing time — at all three spots.

Beason joined the team following an early-season trade from the Carolina Panthers a year ago and instantly established himself as a leader in the Giants' locker room. He returned this offseason and, despite a history of injuries, figured to be a key figure on the defense.

The surgeon performing the procedure on Beason's foot, Dr. Robert Anderson, is considered one of the most respected foot experts in sports medicine and has repaired Beason before — his season-ending Achilles injury back in 2011.

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Jon Beason leaves OTAs after NY Giants linebacker injures right foot

For all the millions of dollars the Giants spent on their defense during the offseason, they know there is still one player they can’t afford to lose. That’s why they were holding their breath on Thursday morning after linebacker Jon Beason had to be carted off the practice field with an injured foot.

The middle linebacker, and likely defensive captain, suffered what Tom Coughlin first described as an injury to the bottom of his right foot midway through the Giants’ second to last OTA. Coughlin later said he wasn’t sure what part of the foot Beason hurt, only that he “felt something” while running across the field during a play.

Beason pulled up limping after suffering the injury, but he was able to walk over to the sidelines where trainers examined his foot, before summoning a cart. The only good news was he was at least able to ride in the passenger seat, rather than having to lay across the back.

He was later sent to the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan for further evaluation. No update was immediately available. Coughlin’s only prognosis was, “We’ll see.”

The coach did not hedge on the importance of the 29-year-old Beason, calling him “very important. Because of the nature of the player, the man, the attitude, what he brings to the table, the leadership skills, (he’s) very important,” Coughlin said.

That was clear last October when the Giants acquired him in a trade with the Carolina Panthers for a seventh-round pick. Beason joined a defense that was often marked by confusion and immediately settled things down. His teammates frequently credited him for his leadership and the way the unit jelled, finishing as the eighth-ranked defense in the NFC.

The Giants were so pleased with Beason that he was rewarded with a three-year, $16.8 million contract in March, despite his long and troublesome injury history. A first-round pick of the Panthers in 2007 and a three-time Pro-Bowler (2008, 2009, 2010), Beason tore his left Achilles in 2011 and missed all but one game that season.

One year later he landed on injured reserve again with injuries to his knee and his shoulder. Both required surgery, but the surgery on his right knee was a microfracture procedure to fix damaged cartilage. That knee was still bothering him a year later when he lost his job in Carolina to ex-Giants linebacker Chase Blackburn, which led to his trade to Big Blue.

He certainly did not look hurt in his 12 games with the Giants last season. In fact, he looked like a player the Giants could build around. After Beason left on Thursday, the Giants rotated rookie Devan Kennard, veteran Mark Herzlich and newly acquired Jameel McClain in his middle linebacker spot.

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RSP Nutrition Presents NFL All Pros Jon Beason and Antrel Rolle

NEW YORK — Award winning sports nutrition company, RSP Nutrition, and Natural Body Inc. of Ozone Park, NY, are bringing All-Pro NFL stars Jon Beason and Antrel Rolle on location for a meet and greet with fans.

Jon Beason and Antrel Rolle will be meeting fans on May 31, 2014 starting at 1pm at Natural Body Inc., located at 107-06 Crossbay Blvd, Ozone Park, NY, 11417. RSP Nutrition representatives will also be in attendance providing samples, and information about their products. There will be event day specials on all RSP Nutrition Products. There is no charge to attend this event.

Another fellow Miami Hurricane football player and graduate, Francesco Zampogna, RSP Nutrition’s Director of Business Development and former University of Miami student athlete says, “We are excited to be partnering with Natural Body Inc. to bring some of our best athletes out to such a great event that inspires health and fitness in the community.”

RSP Nutrition is happy to partner with Natural Body Inc. in order to bring Beason and Rolle to meet their fans. Thanks to the quality of their products and increased brand awareness, RSP Nutrition has vaulted to the forefront of the sports nutrition world over the past year. It is because of this support, that RSP Nutrition is pleased to bring this event to Natural Body Inc.

For more information about the event, please visit the Facebook event page at, or call Natural Body Inc. at 718-848-8144.

About RSP Nutrition
RSP Nutrition, based out of Miami Beach, FL, is one of the fastest growing companies in the sports nutrition industry. RSP Nutrition’s mission is to manufacture premium quality, safe and effective nutritional supplements designed for athletes, fitness enthusiasts and everyday people seeking to live healthier, more active lifestyles. It is their commitment to this mission that has established RSP Nutrition on the cutting edge of the sports nutrition field, and garnered acclaim from industry giants such as For more information on RSP Nutrition, visit, or call at 877-814-2544.

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Jon Beason doesn't want to be an agent after playing days

Jon Beason remembers getting a call from the Giants at 3:52 on Tuesday, just eight minutes before the start of free agency. He was one of their top priorities, but he was also their biggest obstacle to a new deal.

Beason was his own agent now, and any decisions would have to work through him.

"I think as athletes we get labeled that this is all we do," Beason said. "...But at the same time, if you take the time to learn something and put forth the effort, you can do it. I wasn't naive enough to just think I could do it on my own. I got help going through the process and getting ready for the process."

Beason wanted to act on his own in order to be directly involved in the process. He didn't want to pace and fret while his near future was being negotiated. He likened the old way to "a little kid game of telephone."

The Giants were not the only team calling, which helped Beason add some leverage during the process, but the linebacker needed a lot more ammunition in order to secure the three-year, $16.8 million deal with more than $6 million guaranteed.

"The slight from teams comes with the (offer)," Beason said. "Their number is this, and I'm like, I'm pretty sure the market is a little north of that. That's where it becomes, not an insult, but a business.

"If you're buying a car, there's a sticker price. The buyer wants to get a little under, the seller is trying to get a little over -- but I'm the car. It's funny, it's like playing poker. You don't want to say what your hand is."

Beason said that players fearful of representing themselves cannot be fearful of the honest truth. That being said, Beason thought his negotiation process was cordial, and didn't hear any slights on his play from a team trying to get him as cheap as possible.

"That's the misconception of it," Beason said. "If you're going to negotiate for yourself, obviously there's a certain level of professionalism. I don't think they are going to take the shots they would if they were talking to your agent. But if you feel like you're a really good player, what are they going to say bad about you? You're too slow? You can't do this?

"I was selling them my intangibles; being a leader, being consistent and wanting to win. It was a great process."

Despite his success, though, Beason doesn't see himself entering the business after he's done playing football.

"I don't want to chase young guys around telling them how great they are," he said.

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Jon Beason, representin'

Jon Beason didn’t just sign a three-year, $19-million contract with the Giants this offseason. He negotiated it as well.

Beason represented himself in free agency, a rarity among players who often rely on agents to handle the dirty work of football business. The middle linebacker spoke about his DIY project on Tuesday.

“I think if you take the time to learn something, if you really put fourth that effort, you can do it,” he said. “I wasn’t naive enough to think that I could just do it on my own, I got help. Going through the process, getting ready for the process, it was more so a matter of just wanting to be directly involved as opposed to playing the little kid game on the telephone. You learned a lot but at the same time I actually enjoyed the experience.”

Beason said the Giants reached out to him a few minutes before he became a free agent on March 11. Because he was repping himself, he was unable to participate in the “legal tampering” period. Once he was a free agent, he said there were a few suitors.

“There were a lot of teams that expressed interest, which was good,” Beason said. “That’s what I thought going into the process. You’ve got to go through the yellow tape so to speak. You play the game, the negotiations start low and you work your way up. Once you become a free agent, everything changed. That part I think is the way to go about it. It’s a little nerve-wracking but you just rely on the fact that you know you’re a good player and you know you have value.”
Beason compared it to buying a car and negotiating around the sticker value. Only in this case, the car was negotiating over itself. That meant he was susceptible to some hard feelings when low-ball offers came in or teams called certain aspects of his game into question. Beason said things never got that personal.

When Karlos Dansby signed with the Browns for $24 million over four years, that set the market value for middle linebackers. Beason’s contract wound up being a little bit more per season ($6.3 million per season vs. $6 million) with a lot less guaranteed ($14 million for Dansby vs. $6 million for Beason) and one less year. But unlike Dansby, Beason gets to keep it all. Well, other than the taxes. And Beason gets the chance to cash in on another big contract if he’s still playing at a high level in three years.

Although he said he enjoyed the process, Beason said he’s not looking for a career after football.

“I don’t know if I want to be an agent,” he said. “I don’t know if I want to chase young guys around and tell them how great they are and say, ‘Sign with me.’ I think there may be an opportunity to say, ‘Hey guys, try learning for yourself. That way you have a better grasp of what your agent’s saying or maybe you can counter with this. Maybe your agent didn’t think about it or maybe he’s shocked that you knew about it.’ I think there’s a place for it.”

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Jon Beason on Off-Season Training: 'I Know When I Have to Focus'

In his first four NFL seasons, Jon Beason made an astounding 540 tackles. Then the injury bug stung him, derailing his 2011 and 2012 seasons. But after taking a new approach to how he trains and prepares his body, the veteran linebacker again surpassed 100 tackles during the 2013 season. We spoke with Beason at the Arnold Classic RSP Nutrition booth to learn what he did to get back to the top.

STACK: Do you have a specific pre-game routine?
Jon Beason: I would go from being a laid back, chill dude on Friday to really serious before a game in college. I’d have my headphones on and wouldn’t talk to anyone. But I felt like I played stiff.

So one week in college, I went out and I was like, "man, I am going to have fun, be loose and crack jokes." It’s a party out there—you’re making plays and having fun. So I try not to give way to superstition. I am going to show up and have a great time. I know when I have to focus.

STACK: What do you do after a game, and what does it feel like Monday morning?
JB: Usually your adrenaline is still pumping. Whether you played well or you didn’t, you are still kind of on this high. You’re just trying to wind down. You’re sore a little bit the next day, but Tuesday is when atrophy sets in and you are hurting.

On Tuesday you are just trying to make it in. Everyone is off, so you come in on your own merit. The best thing to do is get a workout in. Unfortunately, you want to run because it flushes the body. You may get a massage, hit the ice tubs or take a contrast bath [hot and cold]. If you need treatment, that’s when you get it. You don’t feel so great at practice on Wednesday, but you start feeling better as the week goes on.

STACK: What does your training program look like?
JB: I have a great trainer in Pete Bommarito down in Aventura, Florida. We alternate upper- and lower-body days throughout the week. On Wednesday, we do our same active movements in the pool to take some stress of the joints.

Monday is a linear speed day where everything is straight ahead, but it’s over-speed. And then Thursday is specific to your position. I go and train with the defensive backs because I want that footwork.

Friday is our extended cardio day, where we run 200s, but we call them play drives. We go from a long sustained run to a short 30 or 40 where it’s quick.

At the same time, I like to do my own thing at night. I may double up on a lift or run 110s on the beach. It’s to the point where I’m almost paranoid, because I don’t know what someone like Patrick Willis is doing.

STACK: We heard you spin. Is that true?
JB: Yes, I’m in spin class. In our sport, you always try to get your body back to normal, especially after an injury. So you need to modify your workouts to where you’re not going to stress it, but get some work at the same time. So for me, it’s great to get a secondary workout coming off of a knee surgery.

STACK: What are some of the things you learned about training smarter?
JB: I was always trying to get ahead of the competition, do more and train longer. But that wears on the body because our sport is high impact. A guy like me who’s had some injuries from football should stay away from things like CrossFit. It’s a great workout, because you feel like you accomplished something, but I know I can’t do that. I went three and a half years and didn’t miss a snap. I practiced the same way I played. And all of a sudden, I wake up and my Achilles is bothering me. My knees are bothering me. So learning how to recover is huge.

STACK: What have you learned about recovery? 
JB: In my first game back from my Achilles injury, I went out there and was actually upset because I wasn’t in the best possible shape. Not because I didn’t want to train, but because I was forced to relax and let the injury heal. And I went out there and was winded and said to myself, "man, I always pride myself on being in the best shape so I can play at a high level the longest."

But then I hit my second wind. It was more mental. I believed in myself and in my ability. So, I don’t have to actually go and run miles after I train or do this and do that. I can do what my trainer tells me to do and then spend all of my time recovering in terms of nutrition and rest. Knowing when to stop is the most important thing.

STACK: What do you eat on a regular basis?
JB: It’s funny, the meal plan never changes from team to team. We eat four hours before a game. You’ll have your pasta and broccoli for complex carbs, and breakfast will be out there for the guys who want that. I’ll eat a little chicken, but not too much because I want to actually be hungry when the game starts.

STACK: What’s your favorite food? Do you have a cheat meal?
JB: I am not a big sweet guy. If we go to dinner, you will never hear me ask for dessert. I don’t crave it whatsoever, but I love to eat. I would say my favorite meal is probably surf and turf. But, if I am cheating, I want fried chicken. Anything fried, really. I want macaroni and cheese. I want pizza. All of the fat greasy stuff is right up my alley.

STACK: What have you learned from your seven years in the NFL and four years of college ball that could have helped you back in high school?
JB: I was fortunate that I had people around me like my mom and head coach who taught me about hard work and doing what’s required. My high school coach would always say, "you can do everything right, have great talent, go to class on time, work hard and win every game, but it still just gives you a chance to be a champion at the end of the day." If you don’t do those things, you simply don't have it.

So for me, it’s about setting small goals and being in the moment. A lot of times I was like, "I want to win a Super Bowl." Well, we all want to win a Super Bowl, but how are you going to get there? So, I just take it day by day. I ask myself what I did to make sure that I’m better than the competition every day.

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Jon Beason expects big things from NY Giants despite key departures

Jon Beason knows that Justin Tuck is gone, he knows that Jason Pierre-Paul is coming off an injury, and he knows that veteran cornerbacks Corey Webster and Aaron Ross are still in the building.

But the Giants middle linebacker, who signed a three-year deal with the team, still expects big things from the Big Blue defense in 2014.

"I feel like I can be scary good this year and as a team, especially as a defense, we could be really good," he said.

Beason pointed to the midseason dominance of the defense, which nearly pitched a pair of shutouts against the Eagles and the Vikings.

"I think what we were able to build last year in a short period of time was scary," Beason said.

"I'm a big fan of building camaraderie and sweating with the guys in the offseason, that's where you build those championships and we missed that," he said. "Well, I missed that because I came in early in the season. But for me, at this point, I know we have that coming up in April, get out there and earn the right to be a champ. It's going to be big this year."

Still, Beason said, the Giants defense will miss the leadership of Tuck, their longtime defensive captain. He said his teammates will have to "pick up the slack."

"Everyone's going to have to pick up the slack because Tuck was such an amazing leader, a guy who demanded respect right when he walked into the room," Beason said. "That's the way I felt about him from the outside looking in and then obviously getting the chance to get to play with him, that was evident.

"For me, I just want to continue to try and be consistent. I think when you're consistent, people follow that."

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Jon Beason, Giants agree to deal

The New York Giants and Jon Beason have agreed on a contract that will keep the linebacker with the team, a source told Terms were not disclosed.

The Carolina Panthers' first-round pick in 2007, Beason was a Pro Bowler in 2008, 2009 and 2010 before injuries began to wear him down.

He lost his starting middle linebacker job to Luke Kuechly in 2012, and he was a poor fit on the outside for Carolina, which traded him to the Giants for a seventh-round pick in October 2013.

The Giants immediately installed Beason as their middle linebacker, giving him responsibility for making the calls on the defense, and his new teammates accepted him and followed him as a leader.

The Giants' defense performed noticeably better over the final 11 games with Beason in the middle of it. He recorded 93 tackles in those 11 games, including 17 in the Dec. 1 road victory over the Redskins.

Beason, 29, played 15 games in 2013 after injuries limited him to a total of five in the previous two seasons.

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Jon Beason Reportedly Pricing Himself Out of New York Giants’ Range

One of the big offseason focuses for the New York Giants has been re-signing linebacker Jon Beason — something that was once considered their top priority. But with the official start to free agency looming, a deal between the two sides has not been struck and Beason has become an unrestricted free agent.

One of the problems, suggests Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network, is Beason's asking price, which is said to be outside of the Giants' range.

One of the surprises of free agency was Jon Beason not re-signing with Giants _ at least yet, Representing yourself in talks can be shaky

Just told he's asking too much for NYG ... MT @APTCan One surprise of free agency is Jon Beason not re-signing with Giants_at least yet

Previously, Beason hinted that money wasn't much of an issue. Rather, he felt proud to be a part of the Giants organization and had said many times he'd love to re-sign. In his own words, it wasn't about money, but rather, all "about winning."

"Being a free agent, it’s the first time where you get to choose where you want to play or who you want to play with and all of that stuff," Beason said. "But when you come to a place like the New York Giants, there are high standards, there are great players and this team has done it on a consistent level, so for me it’s all about winning at this point in my career."

Although Beason is asking too much for the Giants at the moment, it doesn't necessarily mean that bridge has been burned or that there's no going back. The reality is, Beason gambled when he opted to represent himself, and may soon find that the market doesn't support his asking price. If and when that happens, expect he and the Giants to rekindle their contract negotiations.

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Jon Beason to represent himself in free agency

Veteran linebacker Jon Beason is going to save himself 3 percent on his next deal.

But he’s costing himself three days in the process.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Giants unrestricted free agent has emailed all 32 teams telling them he’d be representing himself in free agency.

But as a result, teams other than the Giants can’t talk to him until Tuesday, taking him out of the three-day legal tampering window.

For a player who has been through a few negotiations (and a few agents), Beason should be able to well cover his own needs. Other players, including Titans safety Bernard Pollard recently, have gone without an agent to do a deal.

If Beason lands where he wants at a reasonable rate, the savings might be worth it. But a lot of relationships are going to be struck this weekend, even if they’re not consummated, while Beason waits at the altar.

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Jon Beason is Giants top priority

Sources tell that MLB Jon Beason is the Giants' top in-house free agent priority.

All other 21 Giants free agents, including Andre Brown, Linval Joseph and Justin Tuck, have been placed on the "back burner." Beason was a revelation after an early-October trade, stabilizing the Giants defense with his veteran presence and playmaking ability in the middle. Negotiations will be difficult because of his injury history -- Beason was limited to five games between 2011-12 thanks to knee and Achilles' tendon injuries.

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Are New York Giants Making Mistake by not Signing Jon Beason Prior to Start of Free Agency?

The New York Giants have made it well known that they want to bring back middle linebacker Jon Beason and have began discussions on a long-term deal to keep him with the team well beyond into the future.

However with that said, Giants general manager Jerry Reese told the media this past week while at the NFL Scouting Combine that he will let Beason test the free agent market along with defensive end Justin Tuck and wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, which signals that any deal won't be made before the start of free agency on March 11.

While Reese did say that the roster is going to have a different feel and look to it in 2014, especially after finishing 7-9 and missing the playoffs for the second straight season since they won Super Bowl XLVI, the fact of the matter is Beason is a very key free agent and maybe even more so than some of the others that the Giants have like Nicks, Tuck and even Linval Joseph too.

If in fact Reese decides not to sign anyone to a deal before March 11, he is risking losing players to other teams on that date and while he can afford to lose Nicks and maybe even lose Tuck, losing Beason is something their defense simply can not have happen for 2014, especially given how valuable the middle linebacker's presence was once he arrived in New Jersey in early October.

Does anyone remember how the Giants defense played before Beason showed up? Let us remind you, five straight games of allowing 30-plus points and an 0-5 start to the season in which the defense was ranked 31st in the league. To sum that up in so few words: pathetic. The Giants defense was pathetic before Beason got dealt the Friday before Week 5 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

When the Giants inserted Beason full-time into the lineup in Week 6 against the Chicago Bears, the team saw the change, especially in the second half of the game when they shut out the Bears and were able to make a game of it. For the first time since Antonio Pierce, the Giants had a true play-making linebacker in the middle who could go sideline to sideline and make plays all over the field, something the Giants sorely lacked for years, and with a healthy Beason, the Giants had one of the better middle linebackers in the sport on their team.

By losing Beason, the Giants risk going back to what they were before Beason's arrival; bad. Sure, Tuck's departure would be sad, but the team also drafted Damontre Moore for a reason, and the same thing with losing Joseph, because they did the same thing with Johnathan Hankins. But there is no sure-fire starter on the team to take Beason's spot if he were to leave in free agency; Mark Herzlich is still there, but the team quickly learned that he was better suited as a backup and for special team duties following Dan Connor landing on season-ending injured reserve in Week 1.

Beason is the key to making this defense what it was; which was at times dominant and showed shades of being elite. Having a healthy Jason Pierre-Paul back and disrupting the quarterback will make it better, as will having Stevie Brown back in the secondary intercepting passes if he returns, but having that play-maker patrolling the middle of the field is what ultimately made the difference last year. The players immediately looked to Beason as a leader from the get-go and they had every reason to.

Ultimately, letting Beason go in free agency would likely be viewed as a very poor decision.

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Jon Beason Expected to Become Free Agent

New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese confirmed on Saturday what most had already known: wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, defensive end Justin Tuck and linebacker Jon Beason are all expected to become unrestricted free agents when the NFL free agency period begins on March 11th.

"You never know [about them returning], but those guys deserve to see what the market is," Reese said. "We think it's best for us right now to wait and see what the market is and make our moves from there."

Even with Beason hitting the open market, it's still safe to assume the Giants will do whatever they deem is "fair" in an effort to bring him back. The same will likely apply to Justin Tuck. But Hakeem Nicks? Probably not so much.

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Giants have 'discussed' deal with FA Jon Beason

ESPN New York reports the Giants have "discussed a long-term deal" with free agent MLB Jon Beason.

Beason bounced back to full health last season, but graded out as just the No. 47 inside linebacker in Pro Football Focus' ratings. Now 29, his lengthy injury history makes him a poor candidate for either the franchise tag or a long-term deal. Unless the Giants can get Beason locked up at a team-friendly price, he'll likely reach the open market.

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What Will It Cost for New York Giants to Keep Jon Beason?

If you ask a lot of the fans of the New York Giants right now which of the current crop of free agents they would like to keep the most, the most common answer you would hear would be Jon Beason.

As much as some want to keep Justin Tuck, Linval Joseph and even Hakeem Nicks, the one name most fans say that is a priority is Beason. The veteran linebacker was acquired in early October in a deal with the Carolina Panthers that cost the Giants all of a seventh-round draft pick and helped turn a defense that at one time, was ranked 31st in the league and finished eighth overall.

While a lot of people thought he was done given that his last full season in the NFL was back in 2010, Beason used the trade to the Giants as his second chance to show every single doubter in the league that he was far from done and still had a lot left in the tank and made ever bit of his stint with the Giants count in 2013. In the 12 games that he played in New York, he totaled for 93 tackles and one interception and ended up with 104 for the season, the first time he reached over 100 since his last healthy season, which was again, back in 2010.

Beason took a very early liking to New York and made it very clear that he wanted to remain a Giant for the remainder of his career and even thought he could join the team as a coach or advisor in some capacity after his playing career was over, but the short time he spent in New York made Beason fall in love with the team, city and the aura that came with playing in New Jersey. Now that the season is over and with less than a month until free agency begins, the Giants have plenty of time to try and work out a deal with the now 29-year-old middle linebacker and lock him up for the next couple of seasons.

But what's the price tag going to be for Beason? He made roughly around $3.25 million in 2013 and likely would be due for a pay raise given how he returned to the elite, play-making form that for several years, made him one of the best middle linebackers in the entire sport. It's tough to use previous deals that the Giants have signed in the past only because the last couple of linebackers they signed long-term in Antonio Pierce (five years, $26 in 2005) and Michael Boley (five years, $25 million in 2009), they were both 26 at the time, whereas Beason is three years older than that and is finally shaking off the label of being injury prone. With that said, Beason's as vital to that eighth-ranked defense and the team knows it.

If Beason is true to his word, then perhaps a four-year deal for $19.5 million would be enough get things done, or if the Giants want to sweeten the deal, a five-year deal for $23.5 million with around $11 million guaranteed. With that, it raises his pay to a shade over $4 million per season and it will give Beason the chance to continue his success with the Giants and potentially, finish his career with the team, which is what he wanted from the moment he arrived back in October.

Giants general manager Jerry Reese alluded to the fact that he was going to try and sign some of his own players before the March 11 starting date for free agency and Beason likely is one he wants to keep off the market and with the team, so if both sides are open to a deal that favors both parties, it could be only a matter of time before Beason does re-sign. Last year, the Giants re-signed Will Beatty to his five-year deal back on February 27, which was well before last year's starting time to free agency back on March 11, so the next two weeks could be a pivotal time for the Giants to pick up the negotiations with themselves and Beason and convince him that he needs to stick around and help the team win another championship.

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What will it cost to keep Jon Beason?

Mel Kiper Jr.'s first mock draft of 2014 came out Wednesday, and I wrote this post on my feelings about his projection of Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley to the New York Giants at No. 12 in the first round. I don't think there's a chance they take a linebacker in the first round, but if there is, it would only be because they didn't re-sign Jon Beason, who played very well at middle linebacker for them after they acquired him from Carolina for a seventh-round pick at the end of September. A team that doesn't like to use its high-end resources on the linebacker position isn't going to spend free-agent money and a first-round pick on the position this year. They'll probably spend neither, but certainly not both.

But what about Beason specifically? What if they decide that what he brought to the position was worth a new contract? He's said he'd like to return, but he's an unrestricted free agent, so it's obviously going to be about price.

Beason made $3.25 million in 2013 and will justifiably believe he deserves a raise. The inside linebacker contracts at which he and his agent will look for comparisons are those of Detroit's Stephen Tulloch (five years, $25.5 million, $11.25 million guranteed) and Baltimore's Elvis Dumervil (five years, $26 million, $8.25 million guaranteed). Beason just turned 29 on Tuesday, so a long-term deal isn't a crazy idea for him to have. But given his injury history, it's going to be hard for the Giants to commit too much in terms of contract length or guaranteed money.

The Giants signed Michael Boley to a five-year, $25 million contract in 2009, when he was 26 years old. They gave Antonio Pierce a six-year, $26 million contract in 2005, when he was 26 years old. So there's some precedent for them signing linebackers long-term, though those two most recent examples were significantly younger than Beason is now. And in recent years, the Giants have valued the linebacker position even less, due to the fact that they spend so much time in nickel defenses with only two linebackers on the field.

So my guess is that, if Beason wants to stay in New York, he shouldn't expect much more than about $4 million per year on a long-term deal. It's possible the Giants would be amenable to a deal with a lower guarantee or some incentives, but if Beason thinks he can find something closer to Tulloch range on the open market, he'll play somewhere else in 2014. At his age and coming off a strong season, he's likely looking to get as much as he can on this contract, and when players do that, the Giants tend to let them walk.

My prediction is that Beason prices himself out of the Giants' range and that they end up patching things together at linebacker the way they have basically since Pierce left. And no, I don't think they'll use a first-round pick on the position, whether Beason is back or not.

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Panthers’ compensation for Jon Beason trade finally revealed

The long-held secret of what the Carolina Panthers got from the New York Giants in return for linebacker Jon Beason was revealed Tuesday.

Gettleman said the Panthers received a seventh-round pick in the 2014 draft for Beason. When the Panthers traded Beason to the Giants in Week 5, neither team announced what the conditional pick would be.

Beason had 93 tackles, zero sacks and one interception in the 11 games he played for the Giants this year.

The Panthers now have a draft pick in every round of May’s draft. The Panthers had traded their own seventh-round pick to the 49ers in 2012 for special teamer and safety Colin Jones.

Carolina will have the 28th overall selection in the first round of the draft.

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Jon Beason prepares for first Free Agency

Jon Beason has been labeled a lot of things throughout his seven years in the NFL, but he’s never been called a free agent.

Until now.

The middle linebacker is set to hit the market this offseason after making an instant impact on the Giants as a midseason acquisition in 2013.

“I hope everything works out,” Beason recently told “Obviously you never know what’s going to happen in the offseason. This is new for me being a free agent, but the stage is set. I want to be here.”

Twelve days after his former team, the Carolina Panthers, beat the Giants, Beason was traded to Big Blue on Oct. 4 for a 2014 late-round draft choice. Two days after that, he suited up for the Giants against Philadelphia, and less than a week later, he started on Thursday night in Chicago, where the Giants’ 0-6 start bottomed out.

From there, Beason and company righted the ship and salvaged what they could by winning seven of their last 10 games.

“I just wanted to come in and do my job and bring energy,” said Beason, who started the final 11 games of the season. “And anytime things aren’t going well, it’s always tough, but guys just had to say, ‘You know what, put the past behind you, let’s all buy in, do it together, have 11 guys do one thing right.’ That’s one thing I preach all the time -- let’s get on the same page and just play for the man next to you, play hard, and good things happen.”

As Beason rejuvenated his new team, he did the same on an individual level.

After injury-plagued seasons in 2011 (torn left Achilles tendon) and 2012 (shoulder and knee injuries), Beason solidified himself as a playmaker on the Giants defense. In 12 games, he finished with 93 tackles for the Giants, second only to defensive co-captain Antrel Rolle’s 98 and 19 more than the next linebacker (Spencer Paysinger had 74).

But most importantly, Beason came out as healthy as a player can be after an NFL season. Beason said he was excited about the prospect of being fully able to train as opposed to rehab.

For what team he’ll be training for, that remains to be seen.

“I think it’s all about the situation,” Beason said. “Being a free agent, it’s the first time where you get to choose where you want to play or who you want to play with and all of that stuff. But when you come to a place like the New York Giants, there are high standards, there are great players, and this team has done it on a consistent level. So for me, it’s all about winning at this point in my career.”

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Jon Beason hopeful he'll re-sign with the NY Giants

Jon Beason knows he wants to be a Giant, and he knows that the Giants want him. All that’s left now is to hammer out a new contract.

So far, though, the two sides have only had preliminary talks, Beason told the Daily News on Friday. They each expressed their intentions, but the real negotiations on a long-term contract haven’t started. The linebacker, who was traded from the Panthers to the Giants on Oct. 4, said that “hopefully” he’ll have a long-term deal in place long before he becomes an unrestricted free agent on March 11.

But, he added, “you never know.”

“I know it’s something that we both want to get done,” he said. “We’ve expressed interest that they want me back and I told them that we want to be back. The thing about it is, it’s got to work for both parties. Though you anticipate that it will, you never know.

“So for me right now it’s a waiting game. It’s early. The season is still going on and a lot of things will happen between now and March 11. So all is well. I’ll be playing ball next year and hopefully I’m a Giant.”

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Jon Beason's case to stay is strong

Jon Beason
Position: Middle Linebacker
2013 Stats w/Giants: 93 tackles, 1 INT in 12 games
'13 Salary w/Giants: $1 million (prorated over 12 weeks)

There were two versions of the Giants defense this past season -- one with Jon Beason at middle linebacker, and one without him.

It wasn't even close which version was better. There was a stark contrast in the two units: The Giants allowed 18.3 points in the 11 games he started and 36.4 in the five he didn't.

It's no coincidence either. Beason was a stabilizing force on the field, in the locker room and, most importantly, in the huddle. The Giants previously lacked a middle linebacker with significant experience to command the huddle.

That seventh-round pick they used to acquire Beason from the Carolina Panthers in October proved to be a bargain. Beason was everything the Giants hoped they were getting ... and more!

"Jon came in and I think he stabilized our defense. He came in, he had a voice right away and he fit in very quickly with the players," general manager Jerry Reese said. "He did a good job for us. We think it was a good trade at the time and we still think it was a good trade. We'll evaluate Jon as we move into the offseason and we'll see where that goes."

Beason, 28, had such a significant impact that veteran safety Antrel Rolle deemed it "a must" that the Giants re-sign Beason. Former offensive lineman Shaun O'Hara, who works for NFL Network and for the Giants, called Beason the Giants' No. 1 offseason priority.

Rolle and O'Hara should know. Rolle is a leader in that locker room and O'Hara remains plugged in just several years removed from his playing days.

All signs indicate that Beason will return in 2014. The Giants have already expressed their interest and Beason has made it known he'd love to remain with the organization. There is a strong likelihood he's back next season with Big Blue.

Of course, there are some factors that need to be taken into consideration. His asking price needs to be right. The Giants must be cautious, given Beason’s injury. He tore his Achilles in 2011 and had microfracture surgery on his knee the following year.

Your Desire to Keep 'Em or Dump 'Em: 98.5% Keep Chance for Return: 85%
Why? Beason wants to return to the Giants. The Giants want Beason. All they need to do now is find a reasonable number of years and price for the middle linebacker.
Projected Contract: 3 years, $12 million

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Giants express interest in bringing back Jon Beason, sources say

Happy New Year's, Giants fans. All indications are that the Giants want to bring middle linebacker Jon Beason back next season.

The Giants have already expressed an interest in keeping Beason and there is a strong likelihood he returns for 2014, multiple sources with knowledge of the situation told Beason is set to become a free agent at the end of the season.

The Giants traded a seventh-round pick to the Carolina Panthers for Beason in early October. The move was instrumental in turning around the Giants’ defense, which struggled early in the season. They finished eighth in the NFL in total defense with a strong second half.

Beason, 28, had 98 tackles in 12 games with the Giants. Veteran safety Antrel Rolle said Tuesday on WFAN that keeping Beason is “a must.” Former Giant and current NFL Network analyst Shaun O'Hara said over the weekend it should be the Giants' top offseason priority.

The well-respected Beason has repeatedly expressed his desire to remain with the Giants.

“I would love to play here next year,” said Beason, who suffered an Achilles tear in 2011 followed by a knee tear in 2012, after the season finale on Sunday.

“I want to continue to play football at a high level and I’m trying to win a championship. … That’s my No. 1 priority, right. And that is something I think we can do here. I think the pieces are here and you don’t really need to look elsewhere.”

The Giants were apparently happy with his performance. So happy that they have already begun the process of trying to retain his services.

“Jon came in and I think he stabilized our defense,” general manager Jerry Reese said in his postseason press conference. “He came in, he had a voice right away and he fit in very quickly with the players. He did a good job for us.

“We think it was a good trade at the time and we still think it was a good trade. We’ll evaluate Jon as we move into the offseason and we’ll see where that goes.”

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Jon Beason on being a first-time FA

LB Jon Beason talks about the roster turnover in the NFL and the possibility of coming back to the Giants next year.

Every year it’s a case where it’s like, “Aw, how is this guy not here?” or, “we brought this guy in.” You just never know, there’s always so much change and that’s the bad thing about this business.

Q: Obviously this team was 7-3 the second half of the season. Do you sit there and say, “We’re close,” or do you sit there and say, “well 7-3 means nothing if we’re 0-6 to start?”
A: I think we put ourselves in a tough position to start the season but any time you win a game in this league, it’s hard to do. People take that for granted. You never know, man. Any given year, it could be somebody different and that’s the beauty of the league. It’s tough and we know that. We signed up for it, this is the highest competition right here, so to go 7-3 is something you can hang your hat on but at the same time it’s not good enough.

Q: Are the pieces there to be better next year?
A: I think so. I think we get some guys healthy, that’s the biggest thing. You just start fast.

Q: You’ve never been a free agent?
A: No, I haven’t.

Q: Does part of you want to test the market and see what the other 30 something teams, what they value you at?
A: I think it’s all about the situation. Being a free agent, it’s the first time where you get to choose where you want to play or who you want to play with and all of that stuff. But when you come to a place like the New York Giants, there are high standards, there are great players and this team has done it on a consistent level, so for me it’s all about winning at this point in my career.

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Jon Beason on return to Giants: 'I would love to play here next year'

EAST RUTHERFORD -- The numbers are staggering. With Jon Beason at middle linebacker, the Giants were one of the NFL's best defensive teams. Without Jon Beason at middle linebacker, they were one of the worst.

The Giants allowed 36.4 points per game the first five weeks of the season before Beason, acquired in a mid-season trade from Carolina for a seventh-round pick, was inserted into the starting lineup. With Beason at middle linebacker, they allowed 18.3 points per game and finished as a Top 10 defense -- for the season!

Sure, there were other factors – like Justin Tuck resurrecting into the Pro Bowl player he used to be, Will Hill emerging as a standout starting safety and Terrell Thomas becoming a quality nickel cornerback. But the biggest change in the Giants' defense was the new leader of the huddle, Jon Beason.

Beason, 28, now becomes a free agent, one the Giants need to re-sign if they want to build off the defensive success of the final 11 weeks of this season. Fortunately for the Giants, he wants to return.

“I would love to play here next year,” said Beason, who suffered an Achilles tear in 2011 followed by a knee tear in 2012.

“I want to continue to play football at a high level and I’m trying to win a championship. … That’s my No. 1 priority, right. And that is something I think we can do here. I think the pieces are here and you don’t really need to look elsewhere.”

It will take a lot of work by the Giants' front office to keep the defense that gelled in the second half of the season together for another year. Five of the 11 starters Sunday (Beason, Tuck, Thomas, Linval Joseph, Trumaine McBride) are free agents. Two others (Antrel Rolle and Mathias Kiwanuka) will have their hefty salary cap numbers thoroughly examined.

Beason has to be among the Giants’ top priorities. He had nine tackles Sunday against the Redskin to finish with 104 in 14 games this season. Maybe more importantly, he's been an invaluable presence in the huddle and the locker room, something the Giants desperately lacked with their inexperienced early-season linebacking corps.

“The biggest free agent for the Giants this offseason has to be Jon Beason,” said former Giants offensive lineman and current NFL Network analyst Shaun O’Hara on ‘NFL GameDay First.’ “There is a big correlation between his arrival and that defense playing improved football. Also, in that building, he has been a leader for those guys…He has had a huge impact and they have to find a way to get him back.”

Beason thinks he can be even better next year with a full, healthy offseason for the first time in three years. He thinks the Giants’ defense can improve as well given the opportunity to get acclimated to each other's tendencies and the defensive scheme during OTAs, minicamp and training camp.

However, it all depends on the front office’s decisions in the offseason.

“We can be scary good,” Beason warned, his eyes lighting up like a child in a toy store.

How can you doubt him? This is a man that helped turn a scary bad defense … into a Top 10 defense. The Giants finished with the ninth-ranked defense in the NFL, allowing 332.2 yards per game. The splits looked like this: 395.2 ypg without Beason; 303.7 ypg with Beason.

Of course, there is always the possibility that the Giants defense will have a totally new look next season. It's the nature of the business. Everything they built the final 11 weeks of the season could go to waste.

“I want to be here, but I’m not going to say, ‘hey, it’s going to shock me if I’m not [here].’” Beason. “I just know crazy things happen.”

Yes, they do, like the Giants becoming a Top 10 defense after the way they started the season. Who would have believed that?

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Jon Beason sees the Seahawks as potential signature win

The Giants are looking, scrounging, for anything that makes Sunday's matchup with the NFC's top team meaningful in their eyes. They've mentioned pride, professional obligation and respect to the organization that still pays them every week.

Middle linebacker Jon Beason mentioned something a little bit outside the box on Wednesday. He brought up that a win over the Seahawks is one they can build on into next year.

“It would be a signature win for the season, I think,” Beason said. “You go up against a great team, the No. 1 seed if the playoffs were today, and because you don’t have those playoff hopes, hopefully you can go out and win the game. It would be a good end to the season.”

Beason brings up a good point. The Giants haven’t beaten anyone notable this season. Their wins over Philadelphia and Green Bay came with Matt Barkley and Scott Tolzien, respectively, at quarterback. Victories over the Vikings, Raiders and Redskins look worse every week.

If the Giants are able to beat the Seahawks, it will be their first quality win of the season. It would also be a major upset. The Giants enter the contest a seven-point underdog.

It’s interesting. Every Giants player seems to be approaching Sunday’s matchup with the Seahawks at MetLife Stadium with a different viewpoint. Defensive end Justin Tuck is trying not be embarrassed and made a laughingstock in his home stadium. Beason is looking for a signature win.

Sometimes, when a team finishes a season strong it carries over into the following year. The Giants could be next season's Carolina Panthers. The Panthers won their final four games last season in a 7-9 season and are now considered one of the NFC's best teams.

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Jon Beason raising his price tag with every game

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants middle linebacker Jon Beason seems to be turning a walk-year into a big contract.

Acquired from the Carolina Panthers in a midseason trade amid speculation that he might be damaged goods, Beason has not only shown there is still a lot in his tank, the seven-year veteran has become the glue that has helped turn around a struggling defense.

Since Beason replaced Mark Herzlich at middle linebacker against Chicago on Oct. 10, the Giants (5-7) have won five of seven games and been competitive in the other two.

The 28-year-old linebacker tied his career high with 17 tackles in a 24-17 win over the Washington Redskins on Sunday night. With 57 total tackles, he's third on the team, just 10 behind team leader Antrel Rolle, who has played in four more games.

"He has been a great voice for us," defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said Thursday after the team practiced for Sunday's game in San Diego against the Chargers (5-7). "On the defense you don't think you need a quarterback, but you need a quarterback, someone who can go in and command the front and relate to the back row. Jon has been able to do that. He is very good at understanding situations and being able to talk to all his defensive players and play the game at a fast tempo."

What makes Beason's adjustment so exception is that he came to the Giants in midseason with no knowledge of their system. Within a couple of weeks, he was running the show and making all the calls.

The one problem for the Giants is that Beason has one year left on a renegotiated contract that will pay him $1 million this season. He becomes a free agent at the end of the year unless the Giants re-sign him.

Drew Rosenhaus, Beason's agent, said in an email to The Associated Press on Thursday that he could not discuss whether he is in talks with the team about retaining the former University of Miami player.

Coach Tom Coughlin brushed aside the topic of next year on Thursday, saying he is focused on this week.

Given a choice, Beason would like to stay, adding he'll worry about next year down the road.

"I am enjoying it," Beason said. "The team has welcomed me. I like the city. We're winning, we're trending upward. I think we are going to be a scary team that next year, or if we get help this year and get in the dance, we can do some things. For me, this is where I want to be. All I can control is my performance and the team will do what is best for the team."

Most of the Giants didn't know what to expect when general manager Jerry Reese made the deal for Beason, who missed most of the past two seasons with an Achilles' tendon injury, shoulder and knee injuries. He had lost his starting job to Luke Kuechly and was on the Panthers' bench when the trade was made.

Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas thought that former Giants executive and current Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman was helping out his old team by getting rid of a former starter.

Teammates discovered that Beason was a passionate leader who was humble asking questions and confident in expressing his own opinion. On the field, he is playmaker.

"He is just a rabbit to chase," defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka said. "You watch him out there and he goes HARD on every single play. It forces everyone out there to raise their level."

"Since he has been here he has been the total package for us at linebacker," defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins added. "He has certainly helped us out a lot. He play reckless out there, You can't tell he is coming off an injury. Looking at the way he plays, you would never know."

The Giants have given up just over 16 points a game since Beason became a starter, but 42 of those points were the result of mistakes by the Giants' offense and special teams.

"I love the game and given a chance to play, it excites me, always," Beason said. "I am always going to do whatever it takes, and it has gone well so far."

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Jon Beason: 17 Tackles in Win

Jon Beason had 17 tackles in Sunday's game against the Redskins.

Beason had a monstrous game in the tackle column, 13 of his 17 combined tackles being solo. He is a solid IDP option with performances of this variety being a worthwhile starting option.

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From ‘The U’ to Big Blue

Linebacker Jon Beason and safety Antrel Rolle have a lot in common.

Both are leaders on a resurgent Giant defense, which has climbed from the twenty third-ranked fantasy defense in Week 5 to No. 9 in Week 12. Both have appeared in multiple Pro Bowls, Beason three times and Rolle twice. And both are former first-round draft picks from the University of Miami.

The two were teammates from 2003-2004 and grew close sharing time on the Hurricane defense.

“Antrel might not even remember this,” Beason said. “Antrel hosted me on my visit to Miami. When I came into Miami I was actually an athlete, I was brought in as an athlete. Antrel was like my big brother at ‘The U’ for the first two years I was there. I was a safety and he was a DB. He was just one of those guys that reached out to me. I was No. 2 and he was No. 6 so our lockers were close.”

Rolle, an All-American who was regarded as one of the nation’s top defensive backs, was picked No. 8 overall by the Cardinals in the 2005 draft after Beason’s freshman season. But even after he left, the two remained close.

“Even throughout my college and pro career we’ve stayed tighter than most guys,” Beason said.

Beason, who had 95 tackles and four sacks as a Hurricane, joined the Miami first-round club when the Panthers selected him No. 25 overall in the 2007 draft.
Rolle was released by the Cardinals in 2010 and signed by the Giants shortly after. In 2011 he led the team in tackles (96) and guided it to its second Super Bowl victory in five seasons. Beason earned Pro Bowl honors in three of his six seasons as a Panther but on Oct. 4, he was dealt to New York for a seventh-round draft pick.

Rolle, of course, was one of the first to know.

“We talked earlier in the process,” Beason said, “he was one of the first guys that I wanted to talk to. I said, ‘I’m coming up there and hopefully we can get this thing right.’

“He was like, ‘Let’s do this.’ We played together for a long time at Miami and we know each other well. We train in the offseason and it just seemed like a perfect fit.”

When Beason arrived, the Giants stood at 0-4. The team dropped its next two games to Philadelphia and Chicago and fell to 0-6.

But midway through the Chicago game, things began to click. The team held Chicago’s offense out of the end zone in the second half and wouldn’t give up an offensive touchdown for the next nine quarters, leading the team on a four-game win streak.

“Beason, the guy has been phenomenal for this team,” Rolle said. He is something that we needed. He is a voice from the linebacker position, the middle linebacker position. We needed someone that was going to stand his ground, we needed someone who was going to get everyone lined up real snappy, no BS-ing around. Just his play-making ability, his passion for the game is tremendous and I think he’s just beginning now. It’s only the beginning.”

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Jon Beason: 'I knew I would have my day again'

Jon Beason is humbled and energized by the accolades. He’s quick to deflect the attention but deep down takes great satisfaction in it all.

Since his arrival in a trade with Carolina on Oct. 4, the Giants have suddenly become a defensive juggernaut. They’ve allowed just two touchdowns in the past 18 quarters and just 11.8 points per game over the past four games to spark the team’s four-game winning streak.

To a man, his defensive teammates credit him. They say he’s the voice the unit needed. He's the leader they were longing to follow.

“I’m grateful when I get those comments,” Beason said Monday afternoon during a conference call. “I try not to read too much of the stuff that’s being written because I don’t want to be comfortable. There’s so much more I can do. There’s so much more I want to do.

‘I actually appreciate those comments because they’re putting more pressure on me to continue to do those things at a high level. I’m playing hard for them. I’m trying to fight every day for those guys. It’s not just one person. It’s a group effort.”

Beason, a three-time Pro Bowler, has 36 tackles (25 solo) in five games with the Giants. He had eight tackles and an interception in the Giants’ 27-13 victory over Green Bay on Sunday.

After six-plus seasons and major knee, Achilles and shoulder surgeries, the Panthers unceremoniously traded him to the Giants for a late-round pick. Beason was just 28 years old.

“As you get older in this league, you realize it’s a business,” he said. “You can sulk and feel bitter about the cards that were dealt. It’s no one’s fault, not even my fault, that I got injured.

“But it happened. A lot of times when people deal with setbacks, they fold and they allow them to control the situation and that’s it. This happened so this is the end of the legacy. This is the end of the book.

“For me, I knew I would have my day again. Being healthy was the No. 1 priority. Once I was healthy, I know who I am. I knew who I could be. To get the opportunity I could here, it was a blessing. I’m just trying to take advantage of the opportunity and give back.

“A lot of times when you look back on stuff, you say, 'You know what, this is all part of the plan. This is exactly where I’m supposed to be right now.'"

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Jon Beason feels snubbed that Giants flexed out of primetime game

The Giants vs. Packers was supposed to be a primetime game. Then the Giants decided to start the season 0-6 and the Packers lost Aaron Rodgers. Not surprisingly, NBC dropped the matchup from their Sunday night schedule in favor of the much sexier Chiefs vs. Broncos.

Giants linebacker Jon Beason still feels snubbed. He wanted to play with the world and his peers concentrating on their game.

“Yeah [I feel snubbed}," Beason said on Wednesday. “Anytime you get flexed out of primetime, it’s a bad thing. Everyone wants to play primetime games. At the same time, you look at it – they’re taking you off for Broncos-Chiefs, undefeated, division game. So you understand.”

Just because Beason understands doesn’t mean he has to be happy about it. He’d still rather be the Sunday night game rather than the 4:25 pm (ET) FOX national broadcast.

Wide receiver Victor Cruz doesn’t care. In fact, he didn’t even realize the Giants-Packers was supposed to be a night game.

“I didn’t even know that until you said it,” Cruz said. “I could care less. We just need to play the game in front of us, win the games in front of us and we’ll get more primetime games after that.”

The Giants have one primetime game remaining – in Washington on Sunday, December 1. Of course, that too can change in the coming weeks if the Giants and/or Redskins fall out of contention.

There is also the possibility that the Giants add more primetime dates if they keep winning. If they’re in the hunt late in the season, it’s possible their games against the Seahawks or Lions in Weeks 15 and 16 get flexed to the primetime slot. That sounds better to Beason.

“We’re hoping,” he said “to do that later on in the season and get that [primetime] game back.”

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Giants swapped seventh-rounder for Jon Beason

The trade for Jon Beason keeps getting better.

The Giants acquired their starting middle linebacker for a seventh-round pick, according to an NFL source with knowledge of the deal. It had previously been reported as a late-round selection.

Late round in this case means the seventh and final round. The Giants still have their first six selections in next year's draft.

Beason has lived up to the hype since joining the Giants a month ago. He has 26 tackles in three starts, and the Giants haven't allowed a defensive score in 10 of the 12 quarters.

Maybe more importantly, Beason has been a steadying force in the locker room and huddle. He's been constantly praised for adding a veteran presence to the defense.

"He's been a godsend for us," defensive end Justin Tuck said after the Minnesota game. "The leadership is something we needed and he's done a great job."
Beason, 28, is a free agent at the end of the season. He's expressed his desire to remain with the Giants for the remainder of his career.

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Jon Beason addition boosts Giants linebackers

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Jon Beason has already received lots of praise for the impact he's made since joining the New York Giants, but linebackers coach Jim Herrmann got to join the chorus this week.

The Giants made their position coaches available to the media Tuesday, during the team's bye week, meaning Herrmann had a chance to share his thoughts on his new starting middle linebacker.

"Obviously he's a Pro Bowl-caliber type guy and I think our guys like that in the room," Herrmann said. "It's different and new. He has a gregarious personality. He's very easy to get along with. You can tell why he's been a good leader."

The Carolina Panthers, after benching Beason in favor of former Giant Chase Blackburn, elected to trade Beason to the Giants back on Oct. 4 for a late-round draft pick. He's quickly made a big impact with Big Blue, leading the team in tackles in two of the past three games.

But Beason's leadership at middle linebacker, said Herrmann, has been even more important.

"I've always been a firm believer that there has to be one voice on the field," Herrmann said. "Coaches are on the sideline, somebody has to be the voice on the field. When you have a guy like that, that one voice resonates to everyone on the field, and the results are you have 11 guys on the same page, which is good."

The Giants' linebacker corps had been heavily criticized this season, prior to Beason's arrival. It was a young, relatively inexperienced group. Mark Herzlich had failed to distinguish himself in the middle, and Keith Rivers hasn't done anything particularly noteworthy, either.

Herrmann said he has been impressed by Spencer Paysinger, however, the third-year pro in his first season as a full-time starter. Paysinger is fourth on the team with 39 tackles.

"I think Spencer has done a great job this year," Herrmann said. "He has developed into a good football player."

Herrmann also had praise for Jacquian Williams, who appears to be healthy at long last and made a key fumble recovery in last Sunday's win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

"I think he's learning the nuances of the game, the nuances of coverage and covering people in man-to-man. That comes with experience," Herrmann said. "You need to learn how to cover a guy and different nuances of routes and where he needs to be. The more he does it, the better he is going to be."

Herrmann is well aware of the criticism directed at his unit, but thinks they've been better than people think.

"As a group, I think those guys have done a good job," Herrmann said. "In today's world, it's about wins and losses. You don't win and you lose, somebody’s going to take the criticism. It's just part of the business.

"The biggest thing I tell them is, 'Look, at the end of the day, can you walk off the field, look in the mirror, and say I played my best today?' If you do that, then you can keep doing that and get better each and every week. You'll eventually be successful."

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Giants' LB coach Jim Herrmann talks about Jon Beason

Much-maligned throughout all of the offseason, the New York Giants linebacking corps was expected to be the weak link in the defense. Early on this season, that was certainly the case.

The unit lost Dan Connor early and Mark Herzlich appeared not to be ready to be a starting middle backer. But the acquisition of Jon Beason and the development of younger players like Jacquian Williams and Spencer Paysinger has helped strengthen a defense that has given up three points in its last 10 quarters of play.

The Giants defense has been stellar in recent weeks, largely due to the revamped linebacking corps. According to linebackers coach Jim Herrmann, ignoring the criticism and playing with confidence has been the catalyst.

"As a group, I think those guys have done a good job. In today's world it's about wins and losses; you don't win and you lose, somebody's going to take the criticism," he said Tuesday. "In the last couple of weeks with wins ... they build their confidence and keep striving to go out and be better."

Perhaps no one player has made a greater impact than Beason, the veteran who was acquired from the Carolina Panthers. Beason has battled injuries since making the Pro Bowl in 2010 and eventually lost his job in Carolina.

Since joining the Giants and getting playing time in the middle Week 6 against the Chicago Bears, the defense has allowed fewer than 260 total yards per game and forced six turnovers. In contrast, the unit forced seven in the first month of the season. And in the past two weeks, no quarterback has thrown for more than 176 yards and no running back has totaled more 48 yards.

Beason's enthusiasm and ability to be a coach on the field has paid dividends for the defense.

"He's a very upbeat leader. He has an infection personalty; most great leaders are. To be able to walk into the door and play right away, that's not easy. He was able to do it and everybody on the defense was right with him. To me, that's huge," Herrmann said. "When you have a guy like that, that one voice resonates to everyone on the field, and the results are 11 guys on the same page."

Not only has Beason made his presence felt on the Giants D, so has Paysinger, who played a critical role as a leader of the linebacking corps early on in the season.

Paysinger, who has thrived for the Giants on special teams early on in his career, has grown into his role as a starting backer. According to Herrmann, much of Paysinger's development has coincided with Beason's mentorship.

"Spencer has done a great job this year," he said. "He has developed into a good football player and continues to play and get his ankle right. Having Jon will help him, too, because Jon's been in the league for seven or eight years and this is Spencer's third or fourth year. It will help him just to see a different type of guy and personality."

Not only has Paysinger seen an increased role; so has Williams, who finally appears healthy and has been a versatile cover linebacker for the Giants this season.

Like Paysinger, Williams is continuing to grow and learn about the nuances of the position and will improve as the season goes on.

"He's learning the nuances of the game, the nuances of the coverage and covering people man to man," Herrmann said. "You need to touch the oven and feel it's hot to learn not to touch it anymore. You need to learn how to cover a guy and difference nuances of routes and where he needs to be. The more he does it, the better he's going to be."

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Jon Beason in the middle of Giants ‘D’ turnaround

PHILADELPHIA — If you are a Giants fan you are well aware of the numbers: 36, 41, 38, 31, 36 and 27.
No, these were not winning Pick Six lottery numbers. They were the scorn of the once-proud Giants defense, points allowed — in order of games en route to an 0-6 start — to the Cowboys, Broncos, Panthers, Chiefs, Eagles and Bears.

Two weeks ago, the Giants were fast-tracking to a franchise record for defensive futility — and that includes the calamitous 1987 strike season during which replacement players were on the field for three games.

On Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field, in a 15-7 win over the same Eagles who handed them a 36-21 defeat three games ago, the Giants’ defense pitched its second consecutive shutout. As the Eagles’ lone touchdown Sunday game on special teams, so, too, did the Vikings’ only points last Monday.

The Giants defense has not allowed a point since the second quarter of their 27-21 loss to the Bears on Oct. 6.

Two days before that loss in Chicago, the Giants traded with Carolina for linebacker Jon Beason, who has become a rock in the middle of their defense.
“I think we got away with a steal there,’’ defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka said. “He’s been a phenomenal player who also has a lot of ball left to play and we appreciate having him. He fits in really well and he’s elevated the level of play tremendously.’’

It has been Beason in recent weeks who has gotten the entire Giants’ defense to show up to work a half-hour early, at 7:30 a.m., for a players-only film session to complement the work they do with the coaches.

Rarely does a new player come to a team, assert himself and be received with open arms by his new teammates the way Beason has with the Giants.
“He’s made a great impact,’’ cornerback Terrell Thomas said.

“We’ve had the meetings before, but having Jon there has added more structure to it, it added a voice to the meeting,’’ linebacker Spencer Paysinger said.
“Beason has been phenomenal; he’s something that we needed,’’ Giants safety Antrel Rolle, who had an INT Sunday, said. “We needed a voice from the linebacker position — the middle-linebacker position. We needed someone who was going to stand his ground, we needed someone who was going to get everyone lined up, make it real snappy, no BS-ing around, let’s get it right.’’

Beason, according to his teammates, has gotten things right.

“I’m a big believer in if something’s wrong you fix it,’’ Beason said. “If you go out and a certain result happens that’s not what you want then do something different. The guys have put the onus on each other. Sometimes you can be given a technique by a coach, who said, ‘This is what we’re going to do,’ but sometimes guys see it differently.’’

The players assemble in the defensive meeting room at 7:30 a.m., about 30 minutes before team meetings take place, and go over film and scenarios.
Giants safety Will Hill, who had an INT Sunday, said it was a “sense of urgency on this team’’ that caused Beason to gather the defensive players together for the early meetings.

“We had an intervention as a defensive unit,’’ Hill said, “We sat down and said, “Look, what’s not working? What can we do to make it better?’ The players came together, then we went to the coaches and players came back together.’’

The Giants players do not believe there is any coincidence to Beason’s arrival and the defense playing better.

“When you earn the right to go out and win, when you put in that extra work, you expect it. You don’t hope,’’ Beason said. “You don’t go out and say, ‘Man, I hope we win this game.’ ’’

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Jon Beason making a difference at MLB for Giants

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Getting middle linebacker Jon Beason in a trade with the Carolina Panthers this month has been a steal for the New York Giants.

The seven-year veteran has led the Giants (1-6) in tackles in his two starts, and he has helped the defense turn things around.

In the past six quarters against the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings, the defense has given up three points. The Vikings' touchdown Monday night came on a punt return.

Beason, acquired for a late-round draft pick in 2014, was a question mark coming here. He played in five games in 2011 and '12 because of injuries and he had lost his starting job earlier this season. Many speculated he either had lost a step or was damaged good.

Beason said his problem with Carolina this season was moving out of the middle to the outside linebacker.

"Sometimes the spin on things publically doesn't mean that's what is going on," Beason said Wednesday after being one of the last players off the practice field after the practice for Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles. "You like to keep some things in-house and sometimes the outside perception is different than what is actually going.

Beason had microfracture surgery on his right knee last October and was still limited early this season. He took medication to reduce the swelling and didn't start feeling well until after the second game of the season, his last start before being benched.

"Maybe they were a little too fast to act," Beason said about the Panthers. "I feel good now and I can play like I am capable, even though I know I can be that much faster, that much stronger and in better shape."

His statistics are impressive. He had 12 tackles against the Bears and added nine more in the 23-7 win over the Vikings, a game New York held Adrian Peterson to 28 yards rushing on 13 carries.

Teammates and coaches have said Beason has been invaluable, making plays, lining up the defense before snaps and providing the calming influence one would expect from a three-time Pro Bowl player.

"The dude works, no matter whether it's a practice or in the weight room. The dude is a hard worker," defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins said.

Veteran cornerback Terrell Thomas said Beason, who replaced Mark Herzlich as the starter, brings a tremendous knowledge of the game that allows him to
recognize offenses and adjust quickly.

"He's a pro. He's a pro's pro," Giants coach Tom Coughlin added. "He's excited. He loves the game, he loves the competition. He's physical. When you listen to him you know there's confidence there. He is bright eyed, he's energetic. He's done a very nice job in a short amount of time."

Safety Antrel Rolle knew Beason before the trade and he said the 28-year-old former Miami product is on top of his game.

"He knows how to play the game," Rolle said. "It has never been about money. It's never been about fans. It's never been about any of those things. He loves the game from the bottom of his heart and I knew that."

Before the season, Beason restructured a six-year, $51.5 million contract extension that he signed in 2011. His contract runs out this year.

"This is where I want to be," Beason said. "Next year will be eight years for me and they say you are getting up there in age. I want to retire a Giant."

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Jon Beason wants to remain a Giant for life

Middle linebacker Jon Beason and the Giants appear to be a marriage made in football heaven, and the three-time Pro Bowler seems ready to make it official.

Beason, who was acquired in a trade with the Carolina earlier this month, said he wants to end his career with the Giants and then remain with the organization in a coaching or administrative capacity.

“I don’t plan on going anywhere, ever. Ever,” Beason said today. “I was talking to (special assistant for player development/assistant coach) Jessie Armstead. I was, ‘Man, when I’m done (playing), I want a job like you.

“Whatever it is you do, you’re still wearing the uniform. Thus far, the city has been real cool. It’s a great group of guys. They’ve welcomed me like I was a draft pick here. I’m happy. I want to be contributing.”

In two starts, Beason, who played with safety Antrel Rolle at Miami and remains good friends with him, has 21 tackles, including 16 solo. If he has lost a step after several major surgeries, it’s not apparent to the untrained eye.

Beason, only 28, is earning $1 million this season. The five-year, $50-million contract that included $25 million in guarantees that he signed before the 2011 season voids after this year and he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

That Rolle is a Giant has made Beason feel even more at home. Beason recalled that Rolle was his host when he went on his official visit to the University of Miami and the pair immediately sparked a friendship.

"Antrel was like my big brother at the 'U' the first two years I was there," said Beason, who was recruited as an athlete/safety. "He was one of those guys who reached out to me. Even throughout my college and professional career, we stayed close."

Beason said Rolle was one of the first people he called when he learned of the possible trade to the Giants.

"I told him, 'I'm coming up there and hopefully we can get this thing right,'" Beason said.

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The impact of Jon Beason

What's amazing is that Beason was only available in trade because he'd lost his starting outside linebacker job in Carolina to Giants castoff Chase Blackburn. After two games in New York you can make a legitimate case that Beason is the best defensive player on the team. Justin Tuck called him a "godsend" and spoke of Beason's impressive football knowledge and ability to direct traffic and get guys positioned on defense before the snap. Beason also plays fast and finds his way to the ball quickly. He looks like a very good middle linebacker, and it may be that he needed to be in the middle instead of on the outside where Carolina was using him. The extent of the upgrade he represents over what the Giants had been using at linebacker prior to his arrival speaks ill of the decision not to prioritize the position in the offseason.

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Jon Beason shows he has plenty to offer at linebacker

It had been a while since new Giants middle linebacker Jon Beason had turned the football field into his personal canvas, patrolling sideline to sideline to put his indelible imprint on a game.

He was once the gold standard at the position, a savant in shoulder pads and a helmet, always a step ahead of the action. He had more than 120 tackles in each of his first four seasons and earned three straight Pro Bowl berths (2008-2010). He was a natural.

Drafted in the first round (25th overall) by Carolina in 2007, Beason started as a rookie. He started every game his first four seasons, going 3½ seasons without missing a defensive snap.

Then, injuries derailed his career. In the 2011 opener, he ruptured his left Achilles. Last October, he underwent micro fracture surgery on his right knee and had a torn labrum repaired in his left shoulder. He played a total of five games in those two seasons.

At 28, the Panthers felt he was done, despite having signed him to a five-year, $50 million contract that included $25 million guaranteed before the 2011 season. He was traded to the Giants for a conditional late-round pick Oct 4.

"Sometimes perception isn’t necessarily reality," Beason said.

On Thursday, Beason made his first start at middle linebacker in more than a year and was a tackling machine in the Giants’ 27-21 loss in Chicago. Displaying exceptional lateral quickness and instincts, he finished with a team-high 12 tackles (11 solo) and sparked a second-half defensive surge that held the Bears to three points.

Beason was prepared for the workload. He and outside linebacker Spencer Paysinger shared the play-calling duties, which are normally handled by the middle linebacker.

"I felt good," said Beason, who replaced Mark Herzlich. "I’m a little sore, but that just means that I went to work. I felt like I moved around well. I just wanted to do my job and make coach proud and try to show that this was a good move for the Giants and a good move for me."

It was a performance that excited coach Tom Coughlin.

"He played hard, he played physical, he’s going to help us," Coughlin said. "He’s a good football player, obviously, very good against the run. He had a lot of tackles, was very much a force in the game in that respect. There’s a lot to learn. Jon’s going to get better and better."

Beason, a well-sculpted 6-foot, 237-pounder, impressed immediately upon his arrival and started against Chicago despite practicing only once in pads. Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said Beason’s in-line quickness and football IQ jumped out in that first practice.

"He’s a middle linebacker," said Paysinger, who gave Beason his No. 52. "That’s exactly what he is. That’s what he gets paid to do. He knows how to be a middle linebacker."

Beason’s departure from Carolina was amicable. Days before the trade, he had gone into coach Ron Rivera’s office to ask for more playing time after being benched. But the Panthers felt he had lost a step.

After starting the first two games this season at weakside linebacker, he was replaced by former Giant Chase Blackburn. Last season, an injured Beason lost his starting middle linebacker job to rookie Luke Kuechly.

"I’m very confident in who I am," Beason said. "I know what I can do. I know what I’ve done and you can always bank on that. Obviously, I’d like to be in better shape but when you’re coming back from an injury, you have to recover from that before you can get better. (Thursday night) wasn’t necessarily an affirmation but I think I can get so much better."

After bringing in a parade of retreads and castoffs that have included Dan Connor, Aaron Curry, Kyle Bosworth and Allen Bradford, perhaps Giants general manager Jerry Reese has hit on something in Beason.

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Jon Beason making immediate impact on new team

Each roster spot is valuable in the NFL.

That’s why the Giants haven’t just brought in new names; they have relied on them.

New York traded for linebacker Jon Beason a week ago, and two days after the deal with the Carolina Panthers, he was playing on special teams for the Giants against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Four days after that – on a short week leading up to Thursday’s game against the Chicago Bears -- Beason was starting at middle linebacker over Mark Herzlich.

He went on to lead the team with 12 tackles (11 solo) in the 27-21 loss at Soldier Field.

Beason assessed the linebacker play in his first defensive outing with the Giants.

 “Far from perfect,” he said after the game. “There are some plays I wished I could have had in that game, but I’m just trying to go out and do my job and play hard. [The loss is] unfortunate, but I think we’re moving in the right direction.”

Acquired in the Giants’ first in-season trade since 1986, Beason, a 2007 first-round draft choice, was a two-time All-Pro selection and a three-time Pro Bowler in Carolina.

With those credentials, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell and the Giants coaching staff didn’t hesitate to throw the playbook at him.

But that doesn’t mean there won’t be a learning curve.

“The terminology is very different,” said Beason, who battled injuries the past two seasons. “I’ve had four coordinators, but it’s pretty complex. I got with coach, we got me coached up, and I try to go out there and do the best I can.”

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Giants say Jon Beason 'ready to contribute'

The New York Giants won't waste any time finding out if linebacker Jon Beason, acquired in a trade with the Carolina Panthers last Friday, can help them. The Giants expect Beason to be a significant part of their defense Thursday night when they face the Chicago Bears.

Head coach Tom Coughlin said earlier this week that Beason is "ready to contribute."

How will defensive coordinator Perry Fewell use the seven-year veteran?

"We are going to incorporate him in our defense this week. We have certain packages that he will be involved in," Fewell said. "He’s only been with us a couple of days, but we felt like it was important to get him involved as soon as possible."

Fewell said the Giants will use Beason as a middle linebacker. That is the position he played until last season, when he was moved to the weak side by Carolina to make room for Luke Kuechly. Beason, 28, was a Pro Bowler from 2008-2010 before injuries, most notably a knee injury that required micro-fracture surgery, took their toll. He has appeared in only eight games the past three seasons.

Beason is looking forward to the opportunity.

"I’m in the playbook heavy. It’s different terminology, but I’ve played football in this league for a long time, so I feel pretty comfortable about it," he said.

What Beason can still offer in terms of play-making ability is debatable. The Panthers had clearly decided the answer was not much, first moving him outside in favor of Kuechly, then pushing him to the bench in favor of former Giant Chase Blackburn and finally trading him to the Giants for a late-round pick.

James Dator, editor of SB Nation's Panthers web site, Cat Scratch Reader, told us recently that "it's clear he's not the same player" Beason was before achilles tendon and knee injuries.

Spencer Paysinger, the only Giants' linebacker to play nearly every down so far this season, has been wearing the radio in his helmet and calling the defensive signals. It isn't clear if he will continue to do so, or if that role will transition to Beason as his comfort with the defensive scheme increases.

"Some of it he can handle. Some of it he can’t. He’ll grow with the system," Fewell said.

The Giants have not had a true top-tier middle linebacker since the heyday of Antonio Pierce. They have made due with players like Jonathan Goff, Blackburn, Greg Jones, Dan Connor and Mark Herzlich.

This, incidentally, would appear to bring an end to Herzlich's hopes of ever establishing himself as the Giants' middle linebacker. In the last two seasons he has lost that job to Blackburn, Connor and now Beason.

Does Beason have enough left to be a difference maker in the middle of the Giants' defense? The only thing we know for sure is that we begin to get the answer Thursday night.

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Newly-acquired MLB Jon Beason may be key to Big Blue's future

Giants fans get their first look at newly-acquired linebacker Jon Beason tonight against the Bears in Chicago.

Last Friday, the still-winless Giants obtained Beason from the Carolina Panthers for a conditional late-round pick in an effort to upgrade their linebacking corps. It’s a low-risk gamble for general manager Jerry Reese.

If Beason, 28, returns to form, the Giants have a three-time Pro Bowl linebacker on their roster and a possible anchor to their defense. If not, they’re out a late-round draft pick. Big deal.

The Giants are going against a Bears team that has transformed itself from a defense-first team into an offensive juggernaut. The former Monsters of the Midway are averaging 29.0 points per game (fourth in the NFL) under new coach Marc Trestman, who replaced the popular and successful Lovie Smith.

Quarterback Jay Cutler and wide receivers Brandon Marshall (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) and Alshon Jeffery (6-foot-3, 216 pounds) spearhead the offense. Running back Matt Forte keeps the chains moving and tight end Martellus Bennett is a key contributor.

The Giants’ banged-up secondary is facing a daunting challenge. The unit will be without starting cornerback Corey Webster and top reserves Jayron Hosley and Aaron Ross, who is on the injured reserve list.

Can the Giants finally get into the win column tonight? Does Beason have anything left? We’d like to know what you think.

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New Giants middle linebacker Jon Beason could start vs. Panthers

For new Giants middle linebacker Jon Beason, playing in the 4-3 scheme is like riding a bicycle. If you played in one, you can play in them all.

“It’s all the same,” he said today, “just different terminology.”

As a result, Beason, a three-time Pro Bowler, said “it’s possible” he may start on Thursday night against the Bears. Giants starting middle linebacker Mark Herzlich is nursing a toe injury and was limited in practice today.

"We're going to incorporate him in our defense this week," Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said. "We have certain packages that he'll be involved in. Obviously, he has only been with us for a couple of days but we felt like it was important to get him involved as soon as possible."

One hurdle for Beason is that the middle linebacker usually calls the defense. But Beason, who was acquired from Carolina last Friday for a conditional late-round pick, doesn’t feel that’ll be a problem.

“I’m in the playbook heavy,” he said. “It’s different terminology but I’ve played football in this league for a long time so I feel pretty comfortable. I have a vet out there in (outside linebacker) Spencer (Paysinger) who has been doing it. With the both of us together, it’s definitely something I want to do.”

Fewell said he was impressed with Beason's in-line quickness and knowledge of the 4-3 alignment.

Beason, 28, was a perennial Pro Bowler (2008-2010) before he tore his Achilles in the season-opener in 2011 and missed the rest of the season. Then, he underwent mirco fracture surgery on his knee and had a torn labrum repaired last October.

In Carolina, he was switched to outside linebacker with the emergence of Luke Kuechly last season. He started the first two games for the Panthers this season but lost his job to former Giant Chase Blackburn amid talk he has lost a step.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” he said. “It’s been a long time.”

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Winless Giants acquire Jon Beason from Panthers

The New York Giants, winless and desperate for defensive help after being outscored 69-7 in the past two games, have acquired linebacker Jon Beason from the Carolina Panthers, pending a Friday physical, a person familiar with the deal told USA TODAY Sports.

The person, who requested anonymity because the trade isn't official, said the Giants would give the Panthers a late-round draft pick for Beason, a seventh-year player who recently had been benched in favor of former Giants linebacker Chase Blackburn.

The trade should come as no surprise given the men pulling the strings: Panthers general manager David Gettleman worked for the Giants from 1998-2012 before taking the job with the Panthers.

The Giants are acquiring an aging linebacker who has battled injuries, played little over the past three seasons and has twice lost his starting job.

Beason, 28, has suffered nagging injuries since he signed a five-year, $51.5 million extension before the 2011 season. A torn Achilles sidelined him in 2011, when he played just one game, and knee and shoulder injuries in 2012 limited him to four games in that season.

He lost his starting job at middle linebacker last year to Luke Kuechly, and this season, Beason was replaced as the starting weakside linebacker by Blackburn.

When he benched Beason, coach Ron Rivera said the linebacker needed more practice time to shake off the rust.

"He is a competitor. He's working hard to recapture that form and that style of football he's used to playing," Rivera said. "We'll continue to keep giving him reps, keep working with him, keep developing him and we'll see."

Beason agreed to a $4.25 million pay cut this year while also chopping off the last three years, but the deal allows him to reclaim $1.75 million if he's active for all 16 games. He'll earn up to $6.1 million this season.

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Blackburn officially ahead of Beason

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians called the Carolina Panthers linebackers the best group "that I've seen in a while." Quarterback Carson Palmer called them the best "linebacking corps in the league."

That would be group of Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis and Chase Blackburn.

Jon Beason, who began the season as the starter at weakside linebacker, has officially been replaced by Blackburn. We knew that after the three-time Pro Bowl player took only one snap in a 38-0 victory over the New York Giants.

But until Wednesday, coach Ron Rivera had said only that the position was being evaluated and the best player would be on the field.

"Right now, Chase has got the lead," Rivera said as he prepared for Sunday's game at Arizona. "A big part of it is Chase is a little more comfortable at it right now. Jon is still trying to get back in football shape."

Beason started the first two games, but after struggling at the end of the opener against Seattle and throughout the second game at Buffalo it became apparent he hadn't fully regained the explosiveness after undergoing offseason microfracture knee surgery.

Blackburn, who didn't play a defensive snap in the first two games, stepped in against the Giants and more than held his own.

"It's the way it works in this league," said Blackburn, who left the Giants after last season to sign with Carolina. "You just have to make the most of the opportunity."

Now it's Beason's turn to make the most of the opportunities he gets and try and work himself back into the rotation. “

"He's handled it well," Rivera said of Beason. "He's a professional. He knows his opportunity is going to come again, and he'll continue to do things he's asked. He'll get opportunities to get back on the field, and I expect him to take advantage of those opportunities."

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Jon Beason may be at end of his career

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- There comes a time in every NFL player's life when he no longer can perform to the level that made him special because of age or injury and it is time to accept a lesser role -- maybe even step aside altogether.

That time may be coming for Carolina Panthers linebacker Jon Beason.

The three-time Pro Bowl selection, trying to return from microfracture knee surgery during the offseason, played only one snap in Sunday's 38-0 victory over the New York Giants.

Head coach Ron Rivera and defensive coordinator Sean McDermott are non-committal about how much starting or playing time Beason will get moving forward, giving the standard "we're going to put the people on the field that give us the best opportunity to win.''

Beason doesn't give the Panthers (1-2) that now. If anything, he's been a liability.

In the opener, he failed to make a fourth-quarter tackle he normally makes in his sleep. That allowed Seattle to get out of a hole and run out the clock for a 12-7 victory.

In a 24-23 loss to Buffalo he gave up five catches for 112 yards, including a 45-yarder to Stevie Johnson on which 35 yards came after the catch.

That his replacement, Chase Blackburn, played well against the Giants only makes Beason appear more expendable. That the weakside linebacker position doesn't have to be on the field for 40 or 50 plays in this scheme plays a factor as well.

In his prime, Beason was a beast. He led the team in tackles with 140 as a rookie in 2007 and was runner-up for the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

He made his first Pro Bowl in his second season, recording 138 tackles and three interceptions. He continued at that pace until 2011 when his season ended early with a torn left Achilles tendon.

He's never been quite the same.

Given his play so far, Beason may be taking up a roster spot that could be better used on a younger player that could at least contribute on special teams. You can't ask a player of Beason's credentials to play special teams.

Only time will tell. The bye week comes at a good time for the 28-year-old from Florida. With the rest he had against the Giants he'll basically get two weeks off.

Maybe when the Panthers resume play on Oct. 6 at Arizona, Beason will have found that extra step he's been missing.

Middle linebacker Luke Kuechly insists his teammate, whether as a starter or a backup, remains an asset.

"He loves playing football,'' said Kuechly, who fills the position where Beason once starred. "That's what he does. He handled [Sunday] well. He was very helpful on the sideline. He gave us some feedback and did a good.

"When you have depth, it allows you to move pieces around.''

Beason isn't ready to talk about the present or the future. Approached on Wednesday he politely said, "Got nothing for you today.''

Then he disappeared, smiling all the way.

Regardless of what his future holds, Beason will handle it with dignity. He'll be respected for that just as much as he was respected for his performance when he was at the top of his game.

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Ron Rivera noncommittal on Jon Beason starting again

The Carolina Panthers' defensive turnaround last season coincided with Luke Kuechly replacing veteran Jon Beason at middle linebacker.

When the Panthers blew out the New York Giants behind a shutdown performance from their defensive front seven in Week 3, Beason was on the field for just one snap.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera was noncommittal this week when asked if Beason would get his weakside linebacker job back from Chase Blackburn.

"We'll have to see. We've got two days of practice this week and then a whole week to get ready for Arizona," Rivera said Monday, via the Charlotte Observer. "Again, as we go through this, we're going to put the people on the field that give us the best opportunity to win football games."

Beason started all 64 games while earning three Pro Bowl nods for Carolina from 2007 to 2010, but he has played just seven games since tearing his Achilles tendon in the 2011 season opener.

The 28-year-old still is regaining confidence in the surgically-repaired knee that limited him in training camp. The coaching staff planned to ease Beason back in via a situational role, but he was a liability in coverage to the tune of five receptions for 112 yards in the Panthers' Week 2 loss to the Bills.

It's conceivable that the Panthers could be 3-0 had the switch to Blackburn occurred before the season opener. Armed with that knowledge, Rivera will be hesitant to turn back to Beason until the veteran recaptures some semblance of his pre-injury form.

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Jon Beason plays one snap

Panthers WLB Jon Beason played just one snap in Sunday's Week 3 win over the Giants.
Beason shared the workload evenly with Chase Blackburn in the first two weeks. But with the Panthers facing Blackburn's former team, Beason became an innocent bystander. The demotion likely had a plenty to do with how badly Beason has struggled this season as he comes off another knee surgery.

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Jon Beason, battling through pain, shoulders blame in loss to Bills

The Panthers’ last-second loss to Buffalo last weekend is one everybody affiliated with the organization would like to forget.

Veteran linebacker Jon Beason said that’s not going to happen.

“This one you’ll remember throughout the duration of a career. You don’t really have the words to express what went on,” Beason said Wednesday. “You go back and watch the tape and look at the opportunities you had to affect the game. At the end of the day, we didn’t get that done. We know we should have won the game, but we didn’t.”

The film review was particularly rough for Beason, who is trying to play through pain in his right knee following microfracture surgery last fall. Beason had a difficult day in pass coverage and missed a few tackles in the Bills’ 24-23 victory.

“I put the onus on me. Those are plays that I want back. But I lost out on them,” Beason said. “You play this game long enough, you’re going to get beat. You transition to the next play, and hopefully you make a big one and make up for it.”

With a spate of the injuries in the secondary, the Panthers were unable to use their nickel package for a portion of the third quarter. That left Beason matched up against Bills wideout Stevie Johnson.

Johnson beat Beason on an inside move and got free for a 45-yard reception to the Panthers’ 10, setting up a touchdown. Normally, Beason would have been on the sideline and the Panthers would have had a defensive back on Johnson.

Johnson’s catch was one of five that Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel completed – in five attempts – throwing to receivers covered by Beason, according to Pro Football Focus. The completions went for 112 yards, including 87 yards after the catch.

Johnson gained 35 yards after his catch against Beason.

“People can look into stats all they want to,” Beason said. “I know I’ve got to play better, and that’s what it boils down to.”

Beason blamed poor technique and biting on play fakes for some of his coverage issues. But he also conceded his knee is giving him problems.

Beason said in July that some players who undergo microfracture surgery are never pain-free again. The Panthers are trying to manage Beason’s pain as he builds the strength in his knee.

After missing all of training camp and half of the exhibition schedule, Beason has been given a day off each of the past two weeks following an installation practice.

“I think again you’ve got to continue to work to get in football shape,” Carolina coach Ron Rivera said. “We’re through his third real week of it. So I think he’s going to continue to get better and stronger, so I expect his play to get better and better.”

“You have your good days, you have your bad days,” Beason said. “When you pound on it, obviously you have that little setback. You take a day off, and you feel better. So everything’s kind of geared toward feeling better on Sundays.”

Early in his career, the Panthers had no better tackler than Beason, who became the first rookie in club history to lead the team in tackles. Beason’s first four seasons produced the top four single-season tackle totals in team history.

But injuries have taken a toll the past two years. A torn Achilles in the 2011 opener ended Beason’s season, and he made it through four games last year before going down with the knee injury.

With Beason out, Luke Kuechly led a defensive resurgence from Beason’s former middle linebacker spot.

Beason, 28, agreed to a $4.25 million pay cut this year in a restructured deal, but can recoup $1.75 million if he’s active for all 16 games. Beason’s new contract voids after this season, meaning this could be his final year in Carolina.

But Beason’s current focus is strengthening his knee and helping the Panthers win a game.

“It’s a process. I haven’t been able to feel great out there. But I’ve been good enough to be effective,” Beason said. “That’s the thought process going into it. The mental edge helps me out big-time, and I’m feeling a lot better today than I have this whole offseason.”

Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said if Beason struggles, it won’t be from a lack of effort – a feeling echoed by cornerback Captain Munnerlyn.
“I know it’s frustrating for Beas. He wants to be out there every play,” Munnerlyn said. “He’s a warrior, man. He works harder than anybody I know.”
Beason hopes his offseason work and the precautions he’s taking during the week help him regain his old form.

“I don’t expect to show up on Sunday and just be great. I know that the way to be great is to prepare – the way you train, the way you practice, the preparation in the film room,” he said. “But every time I go out there, every rep I get, I know it’s building toward getting back to who I know I can be.”

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Jon Beason easing into new role with Panthers entering the regular season

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Just as Jon Beason was about to answer a reporter's question on his play Thursday night, general manager Dave Gettleman had a few questions for the linebacker at his locker.

"How many snaps did you get today?" Gettleman asked Beason.

"Twelve, I think," Beason responded.

"How do you feel?" Gettleman asked. Beason said, "All right. I wanted to do something,"

"I know, I know," Gettleman said. "How's your knee feel?"

"It's pretty good," he said.

The general manager's questions were good enough to replace the first few questions of a more formal interview with Beason after the Panthers' 25-10 victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the team's final tune-up.

Beason played 26 snaps in two exhibitions this preseason, getting his first game action since last September in Week 4 against the Falcons. Microfracture knee surgery in October put him on injured reserve and sidelined him for all of training camp before he made his return to the practice field in mid-August.
Are those 26 snaps and handful of practices enough for Beason to be ready for Seattle on Sunday?

Panthers coach Ron Rivera was pleased with Beason's involvement in practices and meetings while he was injured, saying his mental reps didn't go to waste. Beason will be playing at weakside linebacker after sliding over from middle linebacker, where he went to the Pro Bowl three straight years. That spot is now occupied by second-year star Luke Kuechly.

"Me, I get stronger as I go, and I'm accustomed to not coming out at all, ever," Beason said. "So it's going to be an adjustment. I'm in a situation with the knee and coming back where taking pressure off that is going to be the best thing, especially early. It's a good situation actually."

Beason said he's comfortable playing at weakside, but he has to adjust to a position that doesn't require him to roam around the middle. Instead he has specific assignments, and at times this preseason has over-pursued in an effort to make the play.

"I saw a great athlete running out there trying to make something happen," Rivera said of Beason Thursday night. "It was really fun to watch. I know he's frustrated with himself, he ran himself out of a couple of plays trying to make them. It's good. It really is good to see.

"He's got so much ability, and couple him with Luke and (Thomas Davis) and I think those three guys are going to be very formidable."

Beason was frustrated Thursday. He played two series, tallied zero defensive statistics and was part of a defense that allowed one touchdown.

The coaching staff emphasizes not only tackles, takeaways and pass breakups, but also "factors." The staff grades for factors, plays a defender does well enough to enable a teammate to make a play.

After the game, Beason said he felt like he didn't contribute because he couldn't get in on a play.

"The game didn't really come to me," he said. "It was two drives, and it was early. It's going to be a lot longer come next week. I'm trying to work through it and get comfortable and do your job knowing that everyone has a fit, and as long as we do well that's all the really matters."

Beason likely won't see every defensive snap Sunday against the Seahawks. He said 30 snaps is a safe number considering the long-term health of his knee. With veteran Chase Blackburn as the primary backup, Rivera feels comfortable with the Panthers' depth at weakside.

If all goes to plan, eventually Beason won't have to be restrained by a snap limit.

"We'll be ready to roll," Beason later told Gettleman on Thursday. "That's all that matters, right? The other stuff will come, right?"

"Yes, Jon," Gettleman said. "It will."

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Jon Beason shows versatility in return to field

BALTIMORE Jon Beason needed just three practices before he was ready to hit the field again for the Panthers.

The three-time Pro Bowler started Thursday night at weakside linebacker, playing in his first live-action game since Week 4 of last season against Atlanta.
Beason went on injured reserve last year with shoulder and knee injuries, and he had microfracture surgery on his knee during October. Since then, he has rehabilitated the knee, and he didn’t participate in a padded practice until Sunday.

“He’s another guy that’s a leader, another guy that knows what he’s doing,” middle linebacker Luke Kuechly said this week at practice. “He’s strong, he’s communicating, he knows what he’s supposed to be and it’s just fun to have him out there.”

Coach Ron Rivera said this week the team would get “creative” with Beason, saying simply keeping him at weakside wouldn’t be a good use of all of his talents. Beason had been the franchise’s middle linebacker until Kuechly won that position last year and eventually became The Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Beason didn’t make any standout plays through two quarters Thursday, but his versatility was welcomed by the Panthers. On the first drive, Beason played in a base 4-3 defense as well as in the 3-4.

His presence was especially needed when Chase Blackburn, who had been filling in for Beason, did not dress because of an unspecified injury. Blackburn caught a helmet to his back last week against Philadelphia and played just one series.

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Rivera looking for new ways to use Jon Beason

CHARLOTTE — Now that Jon Beason is back on the practice field with the Carolina Panthers, Coach Ron Rivera and his Carolina staff are exploring creative ways to use him.

Beason, a three-time Pro Bowl linebacker, practiced Monday for the second straight day. Beason, a six-year NFL veteran, is coming off microfracture surgery on his right knee and has been limited to only five games the past two seasons.

The Panthers had concerns over how Beason's knee would respond after his first padded practice on Sunday, but Beason said after Monday's practice he "feels good" and didn't experience any swelling in his knee.

If Beason can stay healthy, he'll start at a new position this year — weakside linebacker. However, when the Panthers go to a nickel defense, Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis will remain on the field and Beason will come off the field.

But Rivera said he'll look for other ways to use Beason's skill set in certain packages.

"As Jon gets stronger and better and better, we'll have to find a role … other than just being our starting Will (weakside linebacker) — because he's such a dynamic player," Rivera said. "We have to find ways to rotate those three guys (Beason, Kuechly and Davis) and keep those three guys on the field as much as possible."

Rivera suggested the Panthers might use some sets that include three down linemen and three linebackers.

"We've got to really explore the possibilities, especially if he's going to be as productive as he has been in the past," Rivera said of Beason, who led the Panthers in tackles in each of his first four seasons in the league.

Beason said he doesn't particularly care what role he fills. He said his goal is to "contribute, lead and win some football games."

As for the knee, Beason said it felt fine after two days of practice. He said other players who have had microfracture knee surgery have told him there's a good chance he'll have good days and bad days and could miss practice time during the season.

"I'm just happy to be back out there," a winded Beason said after running sprints following practice. "I don't care about what shape I'm in, what I do right, what I do wrong. I just miss the grind of me and my teammates hanging in the huddle. It's long overdue."

Beason tore his Achilles in the 2012 season opener against Arizona and was put on injured reserve. He battled back last season, but struggled with knee and shoulder problems and the Panthers shut him down for the year only four games into the season. At that point the team moved Kuechly to middle linebacker, where he flourished.

Beason underwent surgery to repair knee problems and a torn labrum in his shoulder. Beason said the shoulder hasn't been a problem, but he's endured some setbacks along the way with the knee.

"The good thing is our staff is really smart about it," Beason said. "I'm trying to get as much work as I can right now and get back into football shape and get my reads down and get used to playing football again."

Rivera is thrilled at the prospect of having veterans Davis and Beason lining up on opposite sides of Kuechly, the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year and league's leading tackler in 2013.

"That's pretty exciting," Rivera said.

Rivera said he'll wait a few days before making a decision on whether Beason will play Thursday night against the Baltimore Ravens.

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Jon Beason practices in full pads for first time this summer

The Panthers have taken things slowly with linebacker Jon Beason this summer as he recovered from microfracture surgery on his right knee by stopping him from practicing fully until they felt he had recovered enough to resume a full workload.

That moment has arrived. Beason was in full pads for the first time this summer at Sunday’s practice, marking a major step forward in his comeback after two years that were essentially wiped out by injuries.

Beason has played in just five games for the Panthers over the last two seasons, stalling a productive career and leaving the Panthers shorthanded on defense. Beason said recently that he hopes that taking it slow in his recovery from the microfracture surgery will lead to a sustained comeback rather than a brief stay on the field before another setback.

“I want to get out there as soon as possible, but might as well take advantage of the time,” Beason said, via Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. “Trying to make it a permanent comeback from a temporary setback. Know what I mean?”

Having a healthy Beason for an entire season would do the Panthers defense a world of good, so they surely hope that the cautious approach proves to be a winning one.

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Jon Beason back at practice

For the first time this summer, the Panthers had their starting linebacker corps intact.

Outside linebacker Jon Beason practiced for the first time this preseason Sunday, participating in both individual and team drills during the two-hour, full-pads session at the Panthers' practice fields.

Beason underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee in October, and said recently he might have to manage the pain in the knee throughout the season.
Beason did not speak to reporters after practice. But Panthers coach Ron Rivera said the three-time Pro Bowler moved around well.

The key will be how Beason's knee responds to his most intense activity since minicamp. Rivera was noncommittal when asked whether Beason would play Thursday at Baltimore.

“We'll see how the week goes,” Rivera said. “We've got to see how he responds (Monday) morning. That's always the big question. Hopefully, it'll be a good response and we can just keep rolling from here.”

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Jon Beason focused on 'permanent comeback'

Carolina Panthers linebacker Jon Beason has endured several surgeries over the past two years, and has been around long enough to know the rehabilitation schedules for the usual assortment of football injuries to knees, ankles and shoulders.

So Beason was a little surprised last fall when doctors told him it would be six months before he could even begin running after microfracture surgery on his right knee.

“I was like, ‘Really? I’ve never heard of any rehab like that,’” Beason said. “You do ACL’s, Achilles – anything soft tissue – you get in that eight to 12-week period, you’re moving around pretty good and you’re allowed to start doing some stuff. It’s very different.”

Beason, 28, spent the entire offseason last year recovering from surgery on his left Achilles tendon, and missed all four preseason games in 2012. He played in the first four regular-season games before going on injured reserve with knee and shoulder issues.

Beason brushed off the shoulder surgery as routine. Not so the microfracture surgery, a procedure that involves drilling tiny holes into bone in the knee to promote blood flow and form scar tissue to replace damaged cartilage.

Panthers orthopedist Pat Connor performed the surgery in October. Beason said he was told half the players who undergo the procedure play the rest of their careers with some degree of pain.

Beason’s knee still hurts, but he’s hoping he won’t have to manage the pain forever.

“Microfracture, where it is on the knee is very different, based on how fast you come back or the pain tolerance,” he said. “It’s new for me, uncharted territory. But I’ve grown to be a little smarter with the process. I’m going through it and eventually I’ll feel great.”

Careful approach
Former Panthers running back Stephen Davis was 30 when he underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee in November 2004. Davis was on crutches for six months after the surgery and didn’t begin practicing until the end of training camp the following August.

Davis played in 13 games in 2005, rushing for 550 yards and 12 touchdowns on 180 carries, before being placed on IR with recurring knee problems. Published reports at the time indicated there was swelling in Davis’ surgically repaired right knee, although Davis said last week his left knee was more of an issue.

Davis said Beason has to resist the urge to come back too soon.

“One of the things you’ve got to understand is the importance of staying off of it for a period of time because it’s just like a scar,” Davis said by phone from his home in Columbia. “If you keep irritating a scab, it’ll keep bleeding. So basically what you’ve got to do is let everything heal. Stay off of it, but stay in shape, do cardio and stuff like that, (and) do a lot of pool work.”

When the Panthers reported to Wofford last month, Beason said it was possible he wouldn’t participate in any training camp practices. He reiterated last week that he’s targeting a return for the Week 1 game against Seattle, but did not rule out the possibility of playing in a preseason game.

“I feel comfortable with where we are,” Beason said. “It’s gotten progressively better just since camp started.”

Panthers coach Ron Rivera has noticed Beason’s progress.

“He’s doing more and more every day. And that’s the exciting thing,” Rivera said. “He comes out early in the morning and does his workouts. He looks better. He looks stronger. So I’m encouraged by that.”

For every example of an NFL player who has successfully returned from microfracture surgery, there seems to be another of a player who was never the same.
Former Panthers running back DeShaun Foster had microfracture surgery in 2002 before playing his first NFL down. After sitting out a year, Foster returned to rush for 429 yards during Carolina’s Super Bowl season of 2003.

Foster had three seasons of at least 850 rushing yards for the Panthers, and ran for 151 yards in a playoff win against the Giants in 2005.

Jets tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. had microfracture surgery in January 2007, but returned to post his best season that fall when he caught 82 passes for 1,160 yards and five touchdowns for Cleveland.

Former Browns defensive tackle Courtney Brown underwent two microfracture surgeries on his left knee. He came back from the first one in 2003, but never played again following the second in 2006.

Beason said he spoke with several players, and heard a mixed response.

“It’s tricky,” he said. “Some guys, they have it and they’re back from it. Other guys, it’s a little longer. A lot of people say that it’s something that you kind of learn to manage more so than being back completely.”

Ralph Gambardella, an orthopedic surgeon at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles, said heavier athletes tend to have a tougher time coming back from microfracture surgery because they’re putting more weight and pressure on the bone surface.

Basketball players face a challenging recovery because of the jumping their sport requires. Gambardella said a running back returning from microfracture surgery, which is performed arthroscopically, also could struggle because of the stress that cutting puts on the knee.

According to Gambardella, studies show that microfracture is a short-term answer for athletes and non-athletes alike, with the knee repair often breaking down after five years. Despite advances in medical technology and the caution taken in rehab, regenerated cartilage is still not the same as the original tissue.

Gambardella compared it to the difference between crab meat and imitation crab.

“It’s crab, but it doesn’t taste quite the same if you like real crab,” he said.

‘Temporary setback’
Beason has become something of an expert on pain thresholds and recovery times. Since signing a $51.5 million contract extension in 2011 that made him the game’s highest-paid middle linebacker, Beason has played in just five games in two seasons.

Beason made 65 consecutive starts – the fourth-longest streak in club history – before tearing his Achilles in a Week 1 loss at Arizona in 2011. He made it through four games last year before the shoulder and knee problems forced him to the sideline.

While he was injured, Beason watched friend and fellow linebacker Thomas Davis come back following three ACL surgeries on his right knee. Beason’s absence allowed Luke Kuechly to slide from outside to middle linebacker, a move that improved the entire defense and helped Kuechly lead the league in tackles and win AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Drafting Kuechly in the first round in 2012 and signing free agent linebacker Chase Blackburn this past offseason were part of the Panthers’ contingency plan in the event injuries and/or age caught up with Davis and Beason.

At the urging of first-year general manager Dave Gettleman, Beason also agreed to restructure his contract. The three-time Pro Bowler took a $4.25 million cut in guaranteed base salary this year, although he can recoup a portion of that through roster bonuses.

Beason said part of the way he’s coped the last two years has been to remind himself there’s always someone dealing with more adversity.

“You lean on the fact that sad times don’t last always. And that’s what makes the good that much sweeter,” he said. “So for me, I know that I’m being tested. But I think it’s going to put me where I need to be for what’s still to come, something that’s going to be great.”

Compounding things for Beason is that when he returns, it will be at a new position. He will flank Kuechly on the weak side, where he’ll have more coverage responsibilities and less freedom to flow to the ball-carrier and make tackles.

Stephen Davis predicts Beason will return at a high level.

“The type of person that Beason is, there should be no doubt that he should come back 100 percent,” Davis said. “He works hard. He’s a proven veteran and knows how to take care of his body. Just watching Thomas Davis go through the things he’s been going through, I’m pretty sure that Beason sees that and is like, ‘This guy can come back from this. I know I can come back from this.’ ”

Blackburn, who joined the Panthers in March after winning two Super Bowl rings with the Giants, said Beason has maintained a good outlook.

“He’s a real positive guy and looking for the bigger picture,” Blackburn said. “He’s a tough rehabber and he’s a good guy to have in our meeting room. He’s always still in the conversations and still watching practice and staying in tune with everything. So when he gets that opportunity to get back on the field, he’ll be ready.”

Beason was noncommittal on when that might be. Based on what he’s heard and learned about microfracture surgery, he’s not going to rush it.

“I want to get out there as soon as possible, but might as well take advantage of the time,” he said. “Trying to make it a permanent comeback from a temporary setback. Know what I mean?”

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Jon Beason restructures contract

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 offseason.

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 offseason more than $16 million over the salary cap.

"Other guys have done it this offseason 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 be 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 (being ready) in Week 1."

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Jon Beason may miss camp

Carolina Panthers linebacker Jon Beason told the media it’s “quite possible’’ he’ll miss training camp as he continues to recover from microfracture knee surgery.

That’s not really surprising because Beason missed all but five games over the last two seasons. Beason said his goal is to be ready for the regular-season opener and the team’s medical staff has told him he’ll have to manage pain.

That’s less than ideal as Beason transitions from middle linebacker to the outside. But Beason is a savvy veteran and should be able to get mental reps. As long as he can get healthy for the regular season, the Panthers should have a strong linebacker corps with Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis as the other starters.

Given the uncertainty surrounding Beason, Carolina was wise to sign veteran free agent Chase Blackburn in the offseason.

Also, Beason said he restructured his contract to help the team. Beason had been scheduled to count $9.5 million toward this year’s salary cap. We don’t know how much the extension lowers that number, but I’ll let you know as soon as I get details in a few days.

Don’t look for the Panthers to go on a sudden spending spree. First off, there’s not much available right now. More importantly, general manager Dave Gettleman is likely to want to carry over as much cap space as possible until next year.

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Jon Beason: I look forward to HGH testing

JonBeason's Albert Breer reported Monday that the NFL and NFL Players Association have made steady progress toward implementing testing for human growth hormone.

Testing might be in place as soon as this season, and Carolina Panthers linebacker Jon Beason would be fine with that.

"For me, I'm happy," Beason told "NFL AM" Tuesday. "I don't take that stuff, so I'm more than happy to (take a test) because the guys who are taking it, if they get caught, now it's an even playing field. It's already hard enough to make it to the league, to stay in the league and to stay healthy in the league."

Said Beason: "If we can keep it clean -- and thus far, I think we've had the cleanest sport out of all the major sports in this country -- I think it's a good thing. So I'm looking forward to it and more than willing to comply with whatever it is the NFLPA and the league comes up with."

A source told Breer that the league and the players union are "much further along" on outlining testing details than at any time since the collective bargaining agreement was signed in 2011. In a sport long overdue for HGH screening, Beason's enthusiasm will be shared by many when this becomes a reality.

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Coach believes Jon Beason will do fine at OLB

Carolina Panthers linebackers coach Al Holcomb said he believes LB Jon Beason will do fine in his transition from middle linebacker to weakside linebacker.

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Jon Beason back to 100 percent

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- There’s been something that hasn’t been seen in quite some time during the past two years taking place at the Carolina Panthers’ minicamp the past couple of days.

Linebacker Jon Beason has been on the field and making lots of plays. Beason has been limited to five games over the past two seasons due to injuries. Beason missed 15 games with a torn Achilles tendon in 2011 and appeared in only four games last season before a knee and shoulder injury shut him down.

But coach Ron Rivera said Beason is 100 percent healthy.

“I think he is,’’ Rivera said. “They passed him on the physical, so I’m assuming he is 100 percent. He’s moving around like he is. He made some plays. You really see the energy coming back. You see the quickness.’’

With a healthy Beason, Carolina has a chance to have one of the NFL’s best linebacker corps. Middle linebacker Luke Kuechly was the Defensive Rookie of the Year last season and outside linebacker Thomas Davis has made a successful comeback from injury issues of his own.

Beason was one of the league’s better linebackers before his injury problems started and the Panthers think he can get back to that level.

“I think he’s really going to help us, just his presence and who he is as a football player,’’ Rivera said.

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Jon Beason displays energy, quickness

Linebacker Jon Beason was flying around the practice field Wednesday on the second day of the Panthers’ minicamp.

He was at a new position, but he was back with the first-team defense – and that was enough for Panthers coach Ron Rivera to be encouraged.

Beason, coming off knee and shoulder surgeries, spent most of the three weeks of organized team activities on the sideline, and it was assumed he wouldn’t see much action until training camp in July.

But after the team’s medical staff cleared him, Beason returned to practice.

If he was at less than full speed, Rivera didn’t notice.

“They passed him on the physical, so I assume he’s 100 percent. He moved around like it. He made some plays,” Rivera said. “You really see that energy coming back. You see that quickness.”

Beason worked at strongside linebacker next to Luke Kuechly, who took Beason’s spot in the middle after Beason went down last season. Kuechly was named the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year after leading the league in tackles.

Beason has played in just five games the past two seasons. He blew out his Achilles early in the 2011 season, and underwent three surgeries in a 17-month span.

But Rivera said he was not hesitant about putting Beason back on the field.

“Jon works so hard at everything. It really didn’t surprise me that he’d be ready to go,” Rivera said. “And I’m glad to see him out there. I think he’s going to help us, just his presence and who he is as a football player.”

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Jon Beason's recovery ahead of schedule

Panthers SLB Jon Beason (knee, shoulder) is ahead of schedule in his recovery, and he plans to participate in this week's minicamp.

"Training camp was the goal, but (I'm) feeling so good we're going to work in a little bit in the minicamp," Beason said. The 28-year-old participated in individual drills at OTAs the last couple weeks, but he'll look to get in on some team reps this week. Beason should be ready to roll once training camp gets here.

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Will Jon Beason Restructure His Contract?

Will Jon Beason consider restructuring his deal? That question was resurrected Wednesday after the news of RB DeAngelo Williams restructuring his deal with the Panthers.

There are no indications the Panthers have approached Beason about restructuring his contract, which he inked in 2011 as a five-year, $51.5 million deal. Since then he's suffered an Achilles injury that sat him out nearly all of the 2011 season, and shoulder and knee injuries kept him out of three-quarters of last year.

At $8.4 million under the cap, the Panthers aren't under any great pressure to restructure another contract, especially one for a former Pro Bowl linebacker who just lost his starting middle linebacker position.

But an insurance policy on a high-priced, important but recently oft-injured part of your team? Denver just showed it can be done.

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Jon Beason expected to miss minicamp

Carolina Panthers linebacker Jon Beason has missed all but five games in the last two season and had three surgeries in a 17-month period, but the veteran has every intention to return to the field for the Panthers sooner rather than later, although that won't be during minicamp.

Beason, 28, made three consecutive Pro Bowls at middle linebacker before his two injury-riddled seasons. Now, he's expected to return to the Panthers as an outside linebacker after suffering shoulder and knee injuries that sent him to injured reserve in October. Taking his place in the middle in 2012 was first-round draft pick Luke Kuechly, who went on the become the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.

A first-round pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, Beason played and started in all 64 games the Panthers played during the first four years of his career. After two seasons of injuries, Beason told Person that he's excited to get back to doing what he loves to do.

"For me, it can't get here any faster. Obviously, I want to take advantage of the time that I have to get stronger and to heal up even more," Beason said. "But I'm just so anxious to get back to doing what I love. I love to play the game of football. There's nothing else I'd rather do."

While he isn't expected to participate in minicamp next month, Beason did go through the walkthrough at the Panthers OTAs on Monday and should be ready for training camp.

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Jon Beason has a lot of football – and charity – left

CHARLOTTE — Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly said one of the things that makes veteran linebacker Jon Beason so effective is Beason’s ability to communicate on the field.

Beason was talking plenty Monday night, directing traffic as he and 15 teammates served multi-course dinner at a celebrity waiter charity event at the Palm that benefited Beason’s education-focused MLB Foundation.

“Anytime you put your name on something, you put everything into it,” Beason said before he began serving. “For me being vocal on the field, I know helps our defense go out and everyone’s on the same page. So I want to make sure everyone’s on the same page here tonight.”

The Panthers’ starting linebacker corps was represented, as well as its top reserve. Joining Beason and Kuechly were veteran Thomas Davis and Chase Blackburn, the former New York Giants linebacker who signed with Carolina as a free agent this offseason.

The group figures to benefit from the arrival of the team’s top draft picks – defensive tackles Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short, who will try to occupy blockers up front to allow the linebackers to roam more freely.

“That’s what they’re there for – to protect us, be a bodyguard a little bit, allow us to run free and make plays,” Beason said. “We’re excited about it. We know they’re going to make our job easier so we should play at a high level. We have a high standard for how we should perform as a group, in terms of the linebackers.”

Lotulelei and Short will join an interior rotation that includes Dwan Edwards, who re-signed with the Panthers after finishing with a career-high six sacks in 2012. Ron Edwards, the other starter at defensive tackle last season, was released during the offseason.

“Dwan played great. Ron was good. We’ve got guys up front,” Kuechly said. “You add more guys, it just makes it that much better.”

Kuechly led the league with 164 tackles and won The Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year award last season when Beason was hurt. Kuechly began the season on the outside and moved to the middle in Week 5 after Beason went down with season-ending knee and shoulder injuries.

Beason, who had three surgeries within a 17-month span, said last month he plans to return better than before injuries cost him all but five games the past two seasons. He also has conceded the middle to Kuechly, who became the first rookie to lead the league in tackles since San Francisco linebacker Patrick Willis in 2007.

Kuechly, who returned to Boston College during the offseason to resume work on his degree, said he has areas where he can improve in his second season.

“My pass coverage could use some work. And the more you know about the defense, the more you can learn the defense, the better you can be,” he said. “Last year I had to learn everything from scratch. Now I have an idea of what’s going on. … I can concentrate on little areas versus having to look at everything as a whole.”

Meanwhile, Beason is itching to get back on the field after two injury-shortened seasons.

Beason is not expected to participate in the team’s minicamp next month. But he said going through Monday’s walkthrough during the first day of phase 3 of organized team activities fired him up.

“For me, it can’t get here any faster. Obviously, I want to take advantage of the time that I have to get stronger and to heal up even more,” Beason said. “But I’m just so anxious to get back to doing what I love. I love to play the game of football. There’s nothing else I’d rather do.”

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VIDEO: Jon Beason remembers his rookie prank

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Jon Beason says he'll be better than ever

Panthers linebacker Jon Beason held the launch of his charitable foundation Tuesday afternoon at the Palm in Southpark. The turnout included reporters from three Charlotte TV stations, the Associated Press and the Observer.

All asked earnest questions about Beason's celebrity waiter event – May 13 at the Palm to benefit his education-minded foundation – and nibbled on the butterflied shrimp and crabcakes.

But everyone eventually got around to different versions of the same question: How is Beason's health and how confident is he that he'll return to the Pro Bowl form he displayed before three surgeries over a 17-month span?

“I'll be better,” Beason said. “I can't even fathom not being better than I previously was. Especially, when you get to this stage of your career, mentally you know how to prepare and those are the things that you're focusing on more.”

It should be noted that Beason made the same statement last offseason when he was coming off Achilles' surgery.

Beason made it through four games in 2012 before shutting it down with knee and shoulder injuries. He underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee last October, and had his left labrum repaired in January.

He will be limited in OTAs if he participates at all. His goal is July and the start of training camp.

He'll be playing a new position. While he was out, Luke Kuechly led the league in tackles and was named the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Unlike his comments after the Panthers drafted Kuechly ninth overall last year, Beason said Tuesday that Kuechly “absolutely” deserves to be the starter in the middle. Interestingly, Beason said he would likely play the weak side, where Thomas Davis started the final 12 games last season.

Beason said Davis would shift to the strong side, which requires more drops into coverage in the Panthers' 4-3 scheme than the weak side, according to Beason.

(Tickets for the celebrity waiter event at the Palm on May 13 are $250 for general seating and $350 for VIP status and can be purchased at

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Jon Beason ready for position change

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Carolina's Jon Beason still believes he can be a dominant NFL player, even though he's coming off a pair of season-ending injuries and changing positions this season.

Beason, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, is recovering from injuries that have limited him to just five games over the past two seasons.

When he returns he'll be playing weak side linebacker.

That's a fairly significant change from his first four years in the league playing middle linebacker where he was able to roam from sideline to sideline making plays.

The move is to accommodate young star Luke Kuechly, who replaced an injured Beason at middle linebacker last season and went on to lead the NFL in tackles and earn AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.

In Beason's eyes, Kuechly deserves to stay there and the move is in the best interest of the team.

"Right now he's the best in the league at that position," Beason told The Associated Press Tuesday during a fundraiser for his MLB Foundation which raises money for underprivileged children.

Moving outside is clearly not Beason's preference — he's more comfortable playing the middle where he has more freedom to roam the field — but he said right now it's all about winning championships.

It would have been easy for Beason to complain about the move or even seek a trade or release from his contract.

After all, he was a four-year starter at middle linebacker for the Panthers from 2007-2010, going to three Pro Bowls during that span while leading the team in tackles four straight seasons.

Instead, Beason took the new opportunity as a challenge.

He said he attacked his rehabilitation process with vigor, eager to earn a starting spot alongside Kuechly, the kid he helped mentor all of last season, while trying to resurrect his own professional career.

"You look at Luke and you say this kid is exceptional — this kid can play," Beason said. "So I'm like, well let's get out there and be great together. Let's get everyone together on the same page and go out and be one of the top defenses in the league, because we have that potential."

Kuechly said last year Beason was instrumental in his growth, teaching him the ins and outs of the game.

"Jon was awesome, extremely knowledgeable and helpful," Kuechly said last season.

Beason said he is just passing down what he learned from those who taught him coming into the league.

"I'm all about being a team guy and I've always been that," Beason said. "You have to be a pro."

Beason is familiar with the weak side linebacker spot having played that position for a season at the University of Miami.

Carolina actually drafted him in the first round in 2007 with the intention of using him at weak side linebacker, although they'd later move him inside when Dan Morgan's concussions began to add up.

If Beason does wind up at weak side linebacker it creates a quandary for the coaching staff.

Beason's best friend on the team, Thomas Davis, had a productive season at that spot last year after returning from three torn ACLs in successive seasons. But Davis is better suited than Beason to move to the strong side where the Panthers needed to replace James Anderson, who was cut earlier this offseason in a salary cap move.

Beason said he anticipates Davis will move to strong side, but added "I think Thomas and I can play both spots."

Regardless of where he ends up, Beason is just looking to stay healthy and be productive again.

He hasn't been since signing a six-year, $50 million contract during owner Jerry Richardson's summer of free spending in 2011 just days after the NFL owners reached a new collective bargaining agreement with the players.

The Panthers couldn't have possibly imagined the injuries that were about to beset the seemingly invincible Beason, a player with a tough as nails reputation who hadn't missed a game during his four seasons.

Beason's injury problems began soon after signing his extension.

He tore his Achilles in the 2011 season opener against Arizona while chasing down tight end Jeff King, ending his season prematurely. He came back last season he started four games before shoulder and knee issues forced him to injured reserve again.

"It's been a tough stretch and you think that the worst has to be behind you," Beason said.

Beason said the torn labrum in his shoulder feels completely healed and he doesn't believe it will be an issue.

The right knee has been more problematic.

He's still recovering from microfracture surgery and said he likely won't be cleared to participate in all drills until training camp.

"You don't win championships in April, so they're going to be cautious with it," Beason said. "But I'm definitely anxious to return. I think we have the makings of a great linebacking corps and the sky is the limit for this defense."

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Jon Beason on moving positions: It's about winning a ring

Veteran Panthers linebacker Jon Beason said today on NFL Network's NFL AM that he knows he has the ability to play outside linebacker after spending nearly his career in Carolina at middle.

Beason has spent almost the entire past two seasons on injured reserve, and last year, he lost his spot at middle linebacker to Defensive Rookie of the Year Luke Kuechly.

But the three-time Pro Bowler said it's less about pride and more about what the team can do as he enters the latter half of his career.

"Going into my seventh year, you think about things like legacy and all of that stuff becomes important to you," Beason said. "But it’s really about winning a ring. When my career is over, I want to win a ring. I’ve done great things, big things but I also know I have the ability to play outside. Watching Luke, watching him mature and make plays and seeing how dynamic he is, I just want to get out there and do the same thing.

"We can be scary good with that front we have, Thomas Davis. We could be the best in the league and that’s the goal, so I want to be a part of the best defense and win championships, starting with one first obviously.”

He said he's "probably ahead of schedule" for his return to the field. He's almost to the point where he can train again, and he believes he'll be ready for training camp come late July.

Beason started at middle linebacker for the first four games of the season but became less effective as the weeks went on. Nagging shoudler and knee injuries forced him to have scopes on both areas during the year and he was placed on injured reserve for a second consecutive season.

"What I learned was to be in the moment," Beason said of the injuries. "If you can appreciate the grind, the training camps, the moments that you do have, the tough times, you can do big things. So for me, everything is just being near-sighted and winning the day.”

Beason also discussed quarterback Cam Newton's body language as he enters his third year as the offensive leader of the team, the decision to keep coach Ron Rivera for a third year and what it's like to play for owner Jerry Richardson.

He said the team must have a higher sense of urgency in training camp if the Panthers want to come out of the gate hot rather than struggle for the first half of the season and win late like they have the past two seasons.

“Guys can’t miss reps in training camp; I haven’t taken a rep in training camp in two years," Beason said. "It can’t take [until] mid-season to hit your stride; you have to have that mentality right away. We’ll do that this year but you have to appreciate training camp for what it is. Go in with a mentality to work every day, get better and hit it running Week One.”

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GM confident in Jon Beason

Carolina Panthers general manager David Gettleman said he is confident LB Jon Beason (knee, shoulder) will be able to hold up for an entire season. "We're pleased with his progress. He's working extremely hard. He's a professional, and he wants to play," Gettleman said. "At the end of the day Jon Beason's a football player. That's what he wants. He's working very hard at his rehab and we're very confident that he'll be fine."

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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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Jon Beason’s Carnival-Style Celebration

The man with the “million dollar smile” is Jon Beason. Beason is a middle linebacker for the Carolina Panthers. He recently started his foundation back in 2012, Jon Beason’s MLB (Making. Lives. Better) Foundation, to help benefit the lives of “at-risk” youth.

We’ve covered and assisted plenty of athletes and their foundations here at The Giving Athlete. They all have one common goal, and that is to help improve the lives of others. Yet, what’s most intriguing is that each foundation has a very unique approach, and the same can be said for Beason’s MLB Foundation. Their goal is to “have touched the lives of more than 35,000 children by 2016.”

Beason and his foundation will begin their push on Thursday, March 14th. Beason and his foundation will be hosting their first charity fundraiser of the year.
For more information on how you can help, please contact Rachel Krumpelbeck via email:

For more information on Jon Beason you can check out the following links.

Also, social media users, check out Beason’s MLB Foundation on facebook and “like” the page.

Finally, special thanks to Rachel Krumpelbeck of Prolanthropy. You can also check out their website :

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Jon Beason Had Surgery

Coach Ron Rivera said linebacker Jon Beason had successful shoulder surgery this month after undergoing knee surgery in the fall. Beason has played in only five games since signing a five-year, $51.5 million contract extension before the 2011 season.

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Jon Beason eager to return

CHARLOTTE – Jon Beason was forced into a spectator's role for the majority of two straight seasons.

The Panthers linebacker didn't miss a single game during the first four seasons of his NFL career, but he's only played in five over the past two years.

A torn left Achilles tendon suffered in the opener ended his 2011 season. This year, knee and shoulder injuries forced him to injured reserve prior to Week 5.

Those injuries turned the three-time Pro Bowler into a fan. It's not Beason's desired role, but it wasn't all bad thanks to Carolina's four-game win streak to end the season.

"It's been fun to be a fan a little bit," Beason said. "Everything looks so promising."

Beason's final 2012 appearance came in the 30-28 loss in Week 4 at Atlanta. The Falcons – backed up at their own 1-yard line with 59 seconds left – gained 59 yards in one play before kicking the game-winning field goal in the final seconds.

Carolina struggled to recover from the devastating loss to the eventual NFC South champions and by Week 10, the Panthers were 2-8.

But they would only lose one more game.

"To start the season (2-8) and finish 7-9… it's just a complete 180," Beason said. "I can't be more proud of the guys, the coaching job.

"There are guys that were playing that you weren't expecting to, guys we had to bring in and bring up off the practice squad, and it was great to see them play well."

Beason – a five-time captain – was particularly proud of the 44-38 comeback victory over the Saints in the finale.

"You go down 11 points and you can say, ‘You know what, what are we playing for? We're not going to the playoffs, pack it in and head home,'" Beason said. "But that's not the makeup of this team. To come back against a team like that is huge. I know how hard it is to play down there, but the guys pulled it off."

Beason wasn't on the field for the inspired late-season turnaround, but he's eager to help carry that momentum into the start of next season.

Beason has already had knee surgery and said he'll have shoulder surgery in the coming days. His sights are set on a speedy rehabilitation so he can re-join a dynamic linebacking corps.

Beason led the team in tackles in each of his first four years, but he knows tackles will be hard to come by next season. Rookie Luke Kuechly set a team record for tackles with 205 – breaking the previous mark of 174 by James Anderson in 2011 – and Thomas Davisicon-article-link recorded 118 tackles in his first full season since 2008.

"It's going to be slim pickings," Beason said. "Thomas and James have got to get theirs and Super Luke the tackling machine. Numbers will be down, but we'll be playing at a high level and that's all that matters."

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Panthers May look to restructure Jon Beason's contract

Looking at the numbers for the Carolina Panthers, and it sure looks like they’re in a much worse situation than the Saints. There simply aren’t a lot of easy escape routes for the Panthers.

I don’t know if former general manager Marty Hurney deserves all the blame or if he was acting on orders from above, but the contracts given to guys like DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Steve Smith, Jon Beason, James Anderson and Charles Godfrey in recent years have left the Panthers in a real salary-cap mess.

Whoever ends up as the new general manager is going to have his hands tied in a lot of ways, because most of those contracts include so much guaranteed in base salaries and so much pro-rated money that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to get out from under some of the team’s biggest contracts by releasing players.

The Panthers would lose cap space if they released Smith, Stewart or Godfrey. They’d basically break even on Anderson.

Beason and Williams could be candidates for release, but only if the Panthers designated them as June 1 cuts and spread their cap hit over two years, instead of one.

The Panthers currently have $136 million committed toward a 2013 salary cap that is expected to be slightly more than $120 million. Let’s look at some guys who could be on the cap bubble.

Beason: The logical scenario for him is a contract restructure to knock his cap figure down. Beason currently has a $9.5 million cap figure and $3.75 million of his $5.25 base salary for this year is guaranteed. Beason also has $12 million in outstanding pro-rated money.

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