Jon Beason re-ups with Panthers

Updated: July 29, 2011, 5:30 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers' wild spending spree keeps on going.

Panthers middle linebacker Jon Beason broke the news on Twitter late Thursday night that he is now the highest-paid middle linebacker in the NFL.

The five-year extension is worth $50 million with $25 million in guarantees, sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

"Turn on the tube," Beason wrote late Thursday night. "Jon Beason the highest paid MLB (middle linebacker) in the league. The news breaks now."

Beason becomes the latest of Carolina's core players to get a huge deal from the Panthers, following in the footsteps of defensive end Charles Johnson, linebackers Thomas Davis and James Anderson and running back DeAngelo Williams, all of whom agreed to terms the previous two days.

The Panthers have also reached agreement with kicker Olindo Mare, defensive tackle Ray Edwards and safety Sean Considine and traded for Bears tight end Greg Olsen, who also got a new long-term deal with Carolina. Beason, Johnson, Mare and Olsen are all Drew Rosenhaus clients.

All of those contracts will be signed Friday.

The news of Beason's contract didn't come as a surprise.

On Wednesday night, Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said re-signing Beason to a long-term contract was a "very high priority" and something he wanted to get done soon. He added that Carolina also wants to get a long-term deal for Ryan Kalil, the team's Pro Bowl center.

Beason has started all 64 games since joining the Panthers as a first-round draft pick in 2007.

He has had more than 160 tackles three times and been to three Pro Bowls. Last season, Beason struggled early after volunteering to move to outside linebacker following an injury to Davis. However, he later moved inside after Dan Connor went down with a hip injury and went on to have a productive season with 162 tackles and one sack. The Panthers have locked up all three starting linebackers -- Beason, Anderson and Davis -- through the 2015 season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.