Confusion mounted Tuesday morning as information emerged surrounding Jon Beason's restructured deal, which happened shortly before the Panthers joined for training camp in late-July. Now we have a better idea, as this season will likely be Beason's last in Carolina. His contract will be made void before the beginning of next season. Joel Corry was the first to report the details of the deal, which will go into effect in February of 2014.
The Panthers and Beason are two sides moving in opposite directions. Carolina have committed fully to Luke Kuechly being their future at middle linebacker, and while Beason will play on the weakside in 2013, it doesn't play to his strengths as a player. This allows him to move past the Panthers, and gamble that his performance this year will sell his ability on the open market.
Carolina will take an $8 million cap hit in 2014, which represents a $2.5 million saving over Beason's expected cap number, due to his planned $6.5 million salary.
The decision to select A.J. Klein makes more sense with the news that Beason is likely gone. He'll have a season to learn the defensive scheme, and hope he can fill the void. This is a similar situation left tackle Jordan Gross finds himself in, though there is a greater chance he will be re-signed. Carolina have no adequate answer at left tackle moving forward, and he's been one of the Panthers' best performers in preseason.