The Carolina Panthers are toying around with the idea of moving Jon Beason from middle linebacker to outside linebacker, and this likely has to do with the emergence of 2012 NFL Defensive Rookie of The Year, Luke Kuechly.
Kuechly lead the entire league in tackles this year, and Beason is coming off of back-to-back years of serious injuries in 2011. Prior to the last two seasons, Beason never missed a game and was rewarded with a five-year, $50 million dollar deal with $25 million of the deal guaranteed. This wouldn’t be his first foray into playing outside linebacker after Thomas Davis was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list (PUP) in 2010, and never came off of it that season.
Beason would certainly be undersized at outside linebacker at 6′ tall and 238 lbs., and with him coming off of injuries, he might be a reserve player at this point of his career. Or, he may ultimately be cut from the Panthers due to his injury history and how much money remaining is owed to him.
Although, fellow linebacker Davis came off of three consecutive years of Anterior Cruciate Ligament tears (ACL) as the only player to ever do so in NFL history, so it’s possible that Beason could rebound as well and be an effective player going forward. That said, it’s a scenario that is extremely unlikely to occur.