If the Panthers want any success this season or in the near future, it’s imperative they do not trade Brian Burns.
Panthers’ fans woke up Sunday morning to a tweet from ESPN reporter Adam Schefter which stated the Panthers had rejected a trade offer for star edge rusher Brian Burns, the deal was said to include two first-round picks. The fact the Panthers rejected a deal including two first-round picks for Burns just underlies how important he is for the success of this franchise.
Burns who is playing now in his fourth year is a prime candidate for the Panthers’ to extend this offseason after they picked up his fifth-year option in the offseason, what kind of deal Burns demands this offseason is dependent on his play this season, and going by the first seven weeks of the season Burns could be in for a huge extension.
The former Florida State Seminole who was voted 76th on the NFL’s top 100 in 2022 looks set to fully break out this season, Burns was voted to his first pro bowl in 2021 as he formed an imperious pass-rushing duo with Haason Reddick. Burns finished the year was nine sacks and when Reddick was signed by his hometown Philadelphia Eagles on a huge deal in free agency the onus was clearly on Burns to step up this season.
Panthers Other Pass Rushers Struggle
Through seven weeks of the season, the Panther’s pass rush outside of Burns has been practically non-existent, Carolina has ten sacks on the season half of those coming from Burns. Burns got his first career sack on Tom Brady on Sunday as the Panthers secured a shock 21-3 win to move just one game back from the NFC South lead.
The pass rush outside of Burns has been practically non-existent, and defensive tackle Derrick Brown has been a stud for Carolina currently ranked eighth amongst IDL according to PFF, but we’ve seen the Panthers’ interior be dominant in stopping the run as opposed to rushing the passer, however, the Panthers’ are amongst the top teams in the NFL in regard to pressures.
This shows they are close but are just missing the mark in terms of getting to the QB, Burns has been the only one to get to QB with any sense of regularity this season and if the Panthers were to move him, that would be the biggest indication that the team has no interest in winning this season. But one look at the locker room scenes post-game yesterday interim Head Coach Steve Wilks has this team playing seriously hard.
Burns has said in the past he has been frustrated by his inability to break the double-digit sack mark, in back to back seasons Burns has been just a sack away from breaking into that double-digit number, with five sacks through seven games the former first-round pick finally looks set to break that elusive ten sack mark.
Burns spoke after the game about the trade rumors and said “it felt good” that the team rejected two first-round picks for him and that he felt wanted. And Burns is certainly key to this organization moving forward and clearly, the front office understands this too. While the prospect of having two first-round selections must be tantalizing you’re betting on those rookies replicating the production of Burns.
And when you have a player on your roster growing and improving and already has high-level production in the league it makes very little sense for the team to move on and take a chance on rookies that may not have the same production. What sort of extension Burns garners in the offseason from the Panthers will depend on his production through the final ten games. If the player can not only break that double-digit sack number but get up toward 15 sacks and be in the conversation with the league’s top edge rusher it’s hard to imagine Burns not ending up as one of the highest-paid edge rushers in the league.