The Carolina Panthers have been trying to figure out the next step of their rebuild, and not everyone involved has been happy with the franchise. Their Pro Bowl edge rusher Brian Burns did not participate in the team walkthroughs earlier today in preparation for their opening game against the Atlanta Falcons.
Head coach Frank Reich spoke about the absence but did not provide any details about if the contract situation had any effect on the decision.
“Do I hope he’s there vs. Atlanta? Absolutely. But if he’s not there, I’m not worried about it. Just move forward.”
Burns is currently in the final season of his rookie contract and is scheduled to make $16 million in 2023. He will become an unrestricted free agent after the season unless the Panthers are able to sign him to a new contract.
What is next for Brian Burns?
Brian Burns has been one of the best defenders in the NFC, as he is a two-time Pro Bowler in his first four seasons. He has recorded 38 sacks and seven forced fumbles through his first 64 games. The Panthers have to figure out how to get him on the field, as Burns is one of the best players on the defense.
The Carolina Panthers have a lot of interesting linebacker options, with Shaq Thompson, Frankie Luvu, Justin Houston, and Yetur Gross-Matos in the four linebacker spots as well. In a winnable NFC South, the Carolina Panthers, with Brian Burns, would be able to dominate the opposing offenses.
Opposing teams are valuing Brian Burns and have been aggressive at trying to add him to their roster. It is being reported that the Los Angeles Rams offered multiple first-round picks for Burns before last season’s trade deadline. During the offseason, the Bears looked at trading for him in the deal for the first-overall pick, but the Panthers made him off-limits.
Brian Burns is threatening to hold out, and that would be a massive blow to the Panthers’ chances of winning games. They have a rookie quarterback and a division where they can be able to win some games and contend for a postseason spot in a weaker NFC.
Should the Carolina Panthers Trade or Re-sign Him?
If the Carolina Panthers were not willing to give him a second contract, the idea of trading him should have happened last year. With just one year under contract and still needing to agree to a contract extension, Carolina would be in a better position to keep him.
It will take a pretty penny to get him under a deal as Khalil Mack has the largest contract for the position at $141 million in his six-year contract. T.J. Watt holds the largest base salary for the edge rusher position at $20 million, so it is likely that Burns would want to reset the market.
The Panthers can create enough cap room to make the deal happen and seem to be more than happy with the production he has provided. This “holdout” may take a few days, but I fully expect to see him on the field Week 1 this weekend against the Atlanta Falcons with a fatter wallet than he had last week.
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