No Brian Burns Extension Imminent; Panthers OLB Expected To Play In Week 1

Brian Burnshold-in efforts have not yielded an extension agreement in time for the start of the season. The Panthers edge rusher is not expected to sign a deal before Week 1, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

A Burns extension has been on Carolina’s radar for quite some time now, and it has become clear they intend to keep him in the fold for years to come on a few occasions. The Panthers turned down a Rams trade package for the 25-year-old which included a pair of first-round picks at the deadline, and they insisted he would not be involved in the swap with the Bears which allowed them to acquire the top selection in April’s draft.

That gave the Florida State alum plenty of leverage in extension talks, but little progress has been made with the team seeking to work out a new pact ahead of tomorrow’s season opener. Burns – who attended training camp – recently indicated he would not miss regular season time, a move which would have subjected him to $890K in weekly fines. Those comments contrasted notably with his decision to not participate in certain practices, however, and it remained in doubt whether or not he would suit up without a contract in hand.

On that point, Fowler adds that Burns resumed practicing in recent days, and he is expected to play against the Falcons on Sunday. It is unclear if extension talks will continue once the season kicks off, or if player and team will choose to wait until the spring to resume negotiations. In any case, Burns is now set to earn $16MM this season as a result of Carolina’s decision to pick up his fifth-year option. He is not signed beyond 2023.

Many expected the Burns camp to use Nick Bosa‘s extension with the 49ers as a measuring stick for his own value. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year secured the largest commitment ever made to a player on that side of the ball (five years, $170MM with $88MM guaranteed), likely boosting the edge market as a whole. Burns was reported to be seeking an AAV similar to Bosa’s, though that was before the latter’s $34MM figure in that regard was revealed through his deal being finalized. Carolina is aiming for a pact averaging closer to Maxx Crosby‘s annual compensation ($23.5MM).

The Panthers would be well suited to have Burns in place for Week 1 and throughout the early portion of the campaign since Marquis Haynes is on IR, ensuring a four-week absence. That will add to the former’s responsibilities as Carolina’s top edge rusher as he looks to secure a major payday in the future with contract talks now (at least seemingly) in the rearview.

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