Beason thrilled with Ryans' blockbuster pay day

One of the axioms of the NFL, at least in the locker rooms around the league, is that players are happy when other players get paid.

Jay Cutler and Philip Rivers were bitter AFC West rivals but when Rivers cashed in last summer with a huge extension from the San Diego Chargers, Cutler cracked a smile when asked about the deal and said he was happy for Rivers. You bet he was. Because Cutler knew the trickle down would reach him, which it did in a matter of months.

So when DeMeco Ryans hit paydirt with the Houston Texans on Tuesday, pulling down a $48 million contract that includes $21.5 million guaranteed, well, the cash registers were going off in Jon Beason’s mind.

"I don't have a pen and a notebook or a tape recorder, but let me ask you a question," Beason said to Darin Gantt of the Charlotte Observer. "Do you think I'm in the same class as DeMeco Ryans, or better?"

Beason is lining up with Patrick Willis of the San Francisco 49ers as the next two linebackers to be paid. The 25-year-old Beason has been to two Pro Bowls, like Ryans, and he is the leader of the Carolina Panthers defense. Beason has only completed three years of his five-year rookie contract and it could be the team wants to see him play one more year, especially with the unstable labor situation for 2011.

"From all the people I've talked to, with a lockout coming, I just don't think it's going to happen now," he said. "If there is a lockout after this season, then I expect it would be after we resume football.

"Either way, it's good to see Dansby, good to see DeMeco get what they deserved."

Beason is taking the right approach here. He doesn’t come across as bitter at all. He’s understanding of the situation which he has no control over. Heading into 2010 angry with his contract status would not help him achieve the ultimate goal.

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