- David Newton, ESPN Staff Writer
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He was visibly upset about an article I'd written the week before suggesting he was near the end of his short-but-stellar career, and would have trouble getting his job at weakside linebacker back from Chase Blackburn. There was anger in his voice.
It was totally out of character for a player who had been all about character since the Panthers made him the 25th pick of the 2007 draft.
Four days later, after coach Ron Rivera and others insisted that Beason was handling the demotion like a true professional, reports surfaced that the three-time Pro Bowl will be traded to the New York Giants if he passes a Friday physical.
It makes sense on many fronts.
Rivera and his staff don't need a disgruntled player on the roster as they attempt to build on a 38-0 victory against the Giants before the bye week. As we saw this past week at Tampa Bay, after the Buccaneers benched and subsequently released quarterback Josh Freeman, that can become a distraction.
Unlike Freeman, between his high salary and a report he was in the NFL's substance abuse program that made him untradeable, Beason still has trade value if he passes the physical.
The Panthers also don't need a player who isn't going to help them moving forward. Beason has played in only seven games since a torn left Achilles tendon ended his 2011 season after one game. He played only one snap in the victory against New York.
He already had lost the middle linebacker spot to Luke Kuechly a year ago. Because offseason microfracture surgery took away the explosiveness that from 2007-2010 made him one of the best in the league, he wasn't able to hold down the job at weakside linebacker.
He was almost a liability to the team.
One could argue that had the Panthers been smarter and not given Beason the chance to prove himself in the first two games, they could be 3-0 instead of 1-2.
He failed to make a fourth-quarter tackle in the opener that let Seattle climb out of poor field position and run out the clock for a 12-7 victory.
A week later, he gave up five catches for 112 yards in a 24-23 loss to the Buffalo Bills. One of those led to a touchdown.
Blackburn, meanwhile, played well against the Giants. He was a positive influence even when he wasn't getting a defensive snap in the first two games.
The Panthers need positive as they move forward. They need players that can help them move forward.
Beason wasn't that player in his current physical and mental condition.
Maybe he can help a winless Giants (0-4) team that desperately needs help on defense.
So trading him makes sense for all parties.