Plenty have pointed to the Panthers as potential sellers ahead of tomorrow’s trade deadline, and a move involving Brian Burns would represent the most impactful one possible. While that does not appear likely, an agreement between team and player on a new contract is not on the horizon either.
The Pro Bowl edge rusher confirmed on Monday (via ESPN’s David Newton) that negotiations on an extension are still on hold. That has been the case since September, despite efforts on both sides during the offseason to gain traction on a long-term deal. As indicated by Burns himself and numerous reports, the Panthers have not come particularly close to hammering out an extension.
Burns is playing on the $16MM fifth-year option this season, and a wide gap still remains on the matter of compensation in his case. Mutual interest still exists to come to terms, but the threat of a franchise tag or a free agent departure has increasingly fueled speculation a trade could be coming. Burns was the target of a massive Rams proposal (one including two first-round picks) last year, but Carolina made it clear then, and in the spring trade which saw them acquire the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft, that Burns was untouchable.
The Florida State alum added that no new negotiations will take place “until it makes sense” to re-start them. The edge market has seen upward mobility recently, with Nick Bosa‘s record-breaking 49ers deal setting a new benchmark at the position That $34MM-per-year pact has been named as a target for Burns, while the Panthers are believed to be aiming closer to back end of the top 10 with respect to AAV (which would land him closer to the Rashan Gary Packers extension agreed to today).
Burns, 25, would carry signficant value for any acquiring team’s long-term future. Given the need for an extension to be worked out upon trading for him, though, it comes as no surprise that interest on that front has been relatively muted despite calls coming in. Continuing to anchor Carolina’s pass rush, Burns has posted five sacks in seven games this year, giving him 43 total in 71 games.
Of course, the Panthers could be persuaded to move on from the likes of wideout Terrace Marshall, cornerback Donte Jackson and safety/linebacker Jeremy Chinn. Those will remain names to watch in the immediate future, but even in the expected event Burns remains in Charlotte past tomorrow afternoon, his long-term status will still be in doubt.