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LB Beason signs megadeal to stay with Panthers

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - 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.

"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 signed kicker Olindo Mare, defensive tackle Ray Edwards and safety Sean Considine and traded for tight end Greg Olsen from the Bears, who also got a new long-term deal. 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 posted 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 Thomas 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.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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