After reports that the New York Giants would cut him circulated Wednesday, the Giants have announced that middle linebacker Jon Beason will retire from the NFL due to lingering injuries.
"I always tried to give my all and be competitive," Beason said. "I wanted to go out and continue to play at a high level, giving my all. I was able to do that."
Since 2013, Beason has struggled with injuries and has been able to play in just nine games over the past two seasons. According to the Giants, numerous doctors unanimously recommended Beason retire due to a knee injury.
"I feel like I let people down in terms of my availability to play on Sundays," Beason said. "It was extremely difficult and unfortunately consistent the latter part of my career. I know that those things were out of my control, and there wasn't one single thing I could have done more with the cards I was dealt to ensure that I was available more and healthy, and able to go out and help my team compete."
Beason, 31, was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft and spent his first seven seasons in Carolina. Over the first four seasons of his career, Beason was dominant. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2008, 2009 and 2010, and he was a first-team All-Pro in 2008, earning second team All-Pro honors in 2009. Injuries marred his final three seasons in Carolina.
The Panthers offered their congratulations soon after Beason announced his retirement
Congratulations to Jon Beason on a great career. He will always be remembered as a true leader & fierce competitor. pic.twitter.com/jxbNdc6LlK— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) February 10, 2016
After negotiating a contract with the Panthers that made Beason, at the time, the highest-paid middle linebacker in league history, Beason landed on injured reserve after starting just one game in the 2011 season. Beason lost his starting job in 2012 to eventual Defensive Rookie of the Year Luke Kuechly, and after starting just five games for Carolina in 2011 and 2012, he was traded to the New York Giants after Week 4 of the 2013 season for a seventh-round pick.
Following the trade, Beason had a renaissance in his first partial season with the Giants, contributing 65 solo tackles and 28 assists, one pass deflection and one interception in 11 starts.
Beason was entering the final season of a three-year, $17.5 million contract with the Giants, and after just one healthy season since 2010, choosing to retire rather than allow his career to end as a cap casualty is understandable.