Jon Beason out for the season

Pittsburgh Steelers’ Heath Miller (L) runs the ball for a first down against Carolina Panthers’ Jon Beason in the second quarter of their NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania December 23, 2010. REUTERS/Jason Cohn (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Carolina fans were probably thrilled to see Cam Newton throw for over 400 yards in week one, but now they get news that linebacker Jon Beason is out for the season with a torn Achilles.

You only have to look at Beason’s contract to see his importance to the team. The team gave him a $20 million signing bonus last month on a $51.3 million, six-year contract.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs lost Eric Berry for the season to add to the misery of their week-one blowout loss, and the block thrown by Stevie Johnson of the Bills is drawing some criticism.

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Beason: “There’s no way T.O. could be a Panther.”

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 03:  Jon Beason #52 of the Carolina Panthers celebrates after tackle against the New Orleans Saints during their game at Bank of America Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

More times than not, when athletes are asked about whether they would welcome a player that could be a potential locker room distraction, they say yes, or deliver a cookie-cutter response about how it isn’t their place to comment on a topic like that.

But not Panthers’ linebacker Jon Beason, who flat out told that there’s no way Terrell Owens could be a Panther.

“There’s no way T.O. could be a Panther,” Beason wrote. “Based on the fact that our ownership and coaches believe that the locker room is important and based on T.O.’s history, for whatever reason, he’s been a distraction in the locker room.”

That’s a pretty strong statement, considering Panthers WR Steve Smith once broke a teammate’s nose during a training-camp fight.

As the article notes, the Panthers would seemingly be a good fit for T.O. with Smith on the mend and rookies Armanti Edwards and Brandon LaFell lacking experience. But it’s becoming increasingly clear this offseason that most teams want nothing to do with Owens.

In the same article, also reports that Redskins’ coach Mike Shanahan has made it known that he won’t take a flyer on T.O. either. While there is still plenty of time before the regular season starts, it appears that many coaches and general managers feel the same as Shanahan in that the risk isn’t worth the potential reward anymore when it comes to the 36-year-old receiver.

Panthers’ WR Muhsin Muhammad retires

The Carolina Panthers’ official website is reporting that receiver Muhsin Muhammad has announced his retirement. He’ll finish his career as the Panthers’ all-time leader in receptions with 696 and receiving yards at 9,255.

“Coaching Muhsin has been a pleasure,” said head coach John Fox. “He is the ultimate competitor, and you always knew he would give you everything he had. We shared some great moments, and his contributions were invaluable to the success we enjoyed. His receiving numbers reflect what kind of receiver he was, but he was also one of the best blocking wide outs to ever play in the NFL.”

“The first word that come comes to mind when you think about Muhsin is toughness,” said general manager Marty Hurney. “His competitiveness was contagious in our locker room. He was a dependable playmaker and a leader who brought very much to our team.”

I always felt that Muhammad was one of those players that never got his full due. He was a crafty receiver that always found ways to get past an opponent’s secondary, even during his final years when he had lost a step. He was the perfect complement to Steve Smith throughout the years (minus the three seasons Muhammad spent in Chicago obviously), and vice versa.

In other Carolina-related news, linebacker Thomas Davis is likely done for the year after he re-tore his right ACL during a recent OTA session. He tore the same ACL last November, but had been recovering ahead of schedule and was even recently timed at 4.47 in the forty-yard dash, which is excellent for a linebacker.

With Davis likely headed for IR, Jon Beason could slide over to the weak-side position with James Anderson starting on the strong-side. Panthers’ defensive coordinator Ron Meeks likes the action to flow towards the weak-side ‘backer, so Beason will get a ton of work this season. Either way, losing Davis was a huge blow to Carolina’s defense.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

NFL Week 16 ROY Power Rankings

Lots of rookies this year keep reminding us why they were drafted so high, making this a very difficult race to predict. But we’ll try our best……

1. Jairus Byrd, Buffalo Bills—He hasn’t had an interception in a few weeks, but he’s still tied with Asante Samuel and Darren Sharper for the NFL lead with 9.

2. Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos—He leads all rookies with 897 rushing yards, with an outside chance of reaching 1000 yards Sunday against the Chiefs.

3. James Laurinaitis, St. Louis Rams—Yes, he plays for the Rams, and yes, a good linebacker who doesn’t rack up a ton of sacks isn’t one of those sexy picks for MVP or Rookie of the Year. But Laurinaitis’ 102 solo tackles ranks behind only Patrick Willis, Jon Beason and Curtis Lofton.

4. Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants—46 catches for 795 yards and 6 scores is a good stat line for any receiver. But when you consider how big a question mark the Giants were at the position, this rookie has stepped up nicely and immediately contributed.

5. Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings—He’s battled migraines recently, but this explosive game-changer is a dual threat as a receiver and as a kick returner.

Honorable mention: Johnny Knox, Bears; Ryan Succop, Chiefs; Beanie Wells, Cardinals; Jeremy Maclin, Eagles; Brian Cushing, Texans; LeSean McCoy, Eagles; Michael Oher, Ravens

NFL Week 12 ROY Power Rankings

Percy Harvin keeps gaining momentum and votes here with every TD catch from Brett Favre. But it’s still a pretty wide-open race here for NFL rookie of the year.

1. Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings—Against the Bears, Harvin had another outstanding game—6 catches for 101 yards and a TD. Brett Favre might have more weapons than he’s ever had before, but none of them are more dangerous than this rookie.

2. Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos—In the last three games, Moreno has averaged almost 6 yards a carry. And if you noticed the moves he was busting against the Giants, you know he deserves to be high up on this list.

3. Jairus Byrd, Buffalo Bills—He’s now gone three games without a pick, but still has 8 of them.

4. James Laurinaitis, St. Louis Rams—His 75 solo tackles not only rank at the top for any rookie, but that ranks Laurinaitis fourth in the NFL right behind Curtis Lofton, Jon Beason and Patrick Willis. Damn.

5. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles—Brian Westbrook has some mighty big shoes to fill, but so far McCoy is filling them.

Honorable mention: Hakeem Nicks, Giants; Johnny Knox, Bears; Ryan Succop, Chiefs; Michael Oher, Ravens; Matthew Stafford, Lions; Beanie Wells, Cardinals; Jeremy Maclin, Eagles; Brian Cushing, Texans

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