Jon Beason was a decent linebacker, drafted in the 1st round in 2007, but he was massively overpaid going into the contract year of his rookie year on a 5-year, 50 million dollar deal. Making things even worse, he missed 27 of 32 games from 2011-2012 with a variety of injuries. Upon his return in 2013, he had his contract slashed to a one-year deal at the veteran’s minimum, was moved to outside linebacker, and forced into two-down work as a pure base player. He was then benched and sent to the Giants for a late round pick.
The popular narrative is that he rehabbed his value in 12 games with the Giants, back at his natural position at middle linebacker, but that’s not exactly the case. His tackle numbers look good, with 93 tackles in 12 games with the Giants, but people get too caught up in that. He was torched in coverage, grading out as Pro Football Focus’ 4th worst ranked middle linebacker in terms of coverage grade, and 6th worst ranked middle linebacker overall. He’s simply not the same player he was before the injury and he never graded out higher than 26th among middle linebackers on Pro Football Focus even before the injury. The Giants got hosed in those contract negotiations, paying him 16.8 million over 3 years, which is embarrassing because Beason was his own agent.