Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Star Pass Rusher Seeking Insane Contract In Free Agency (Report)

Star pass rusher Brian Burns is set to receive a new contract, but the Carolina Panthers are not interested in meeting his current demands.
Brian Burns Contract

Carolina Panthers edge defender Brian Burns is set to earn a massive contract in free agency. After playing the past five years on a rookie deal, the former first-round pick has established himself as one of the better pass rushers in the game. Making two Pro Bowls, Burns has recorded 46 sacks, 59 tackles-for-loss, and 95 quarterback hits since entering the league.

The Panthers view him as a cornerstone player, as they’ve turned down multiple opportunities to trade him for a high return in the past few seasons. However, the team isn’t going to just hand Brian Burns a blank check for his new contract. According to the latest report from ESPN’s David Newton, the pass rusher is asking for a massive contract in free agency.

“Burns was seeking a long-term deal with an average salary close to $30 million last season, according to a source with knowledge of the negotiations. The two sides never got close. With Carolina expected to have about $39 million in cap space, it seems unlikely it will dedicate that much now to one player since they have so many other needs.

Brian Burns Seeking $30 Million Per Year In New Contract (Report)

If Brian Burns does land a $30 million per year contract, he’d be the second-highest-paid edge rusher in the league, trailing behind only Nick Bosa’s $34 million per year. This would put him in the elite tier of pass rushers, slightly ahead of guys like T.J. Watt, Myles Garrett, and Joey Bosa.

Burns is a valuable player, but he’s nowhere near as good as those guys. Top free agents always reset the market, so Brian Burns will get a big contract in free agency, but nobody should blame the Panthers for not wanting to meet Burns’ demands.

If the Panthers are looking for the framework for a Brian Burns contract, they should probably look to Montez Sweat. A fellow good-but-not-great pass rusher, the Bears acquired him from the Washington Commanders at the trade deadline and proceeded to give him a four-year, $98 million contract that averages out to $24.5 million per year.

Chances are, the Panthers are going to use the franchise tag to give them more time to negotiate a contract with Brian Burns. In a perfect world, the two sides will come to terms on a deal, but if Burns doesn’t back down, then the team might have no choice but to trade him.

Possible Trade Destinations

Houston Texans

The Houston Texans have their quarterback of the future in C.J. Stroud and their edge rusher of the future in Will Anderson. Now, they just need to support the two to create a championship-caliber roster. With over $62.2 million in cap space and their quarterback on a rookie contract, Houston has the freedom to hand out a larger contract to a guy like Brian Burns. Brian has been productive in Carolina as the only true pass rushing threat – it stands to reason he can be even more effective if other teams can’t focus in on him as frequently.

Los Angeles Rams

The Los Angeles Rams were willing to give up two first-round picks for Burns at the 2022 trade deadline. Seeing as all the important decision-makers are still in town, it stands to reason that they’d still want to trade for Brian Burns and would have no problem with giving him a new contract. Los Angeles knocked it out of the park with their 2023 draft class, so they should be able to compete in 2024, and adding someone like Burns will help this team reach their second Super Bowl of the 2020’s.

Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions have the offensive pieces to win the Super Bowl. What they lack, however, is a defense capable of slowing down elite offenses. Aidan Hutchinson is a great young player, but he needs a good pass rushing partner to truly elevate this defense. Brian Burns is a perfect fit for the job, and the Lions should be able to use some of their $48 million in cap space to give him a healthy contract.

Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals hovered around .500 with a rusty Kyler Murray under center. Now, Murray’s back to full health, and the team has $44.6 million in cap space and six top-100 picks in the NFL Draft. This team has the resources to quickly complete their rebuild, so they could afford to give Brian Burns a big contract.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs are going to try to bring back Chris Jones and L’Jarius Sneed in 2024. With Sneed likely to receive the franchise tag, this gives Jones a clear path to free agency. If the Chiefs can re-sign Jones, then they’d have no interest in giving Brian Burns a massive contract. However, if Jones walks, then Kansas City will have to do something about their pass rush. Burns and Jones do not play the same position, but their goal on every snap is the same: take down the quarterback. With first-round pick Felix Anudike-Uzomah not showing much as a rookie, the Chiefs could decide to secure the edge position with Burns.

Main Photo: Morgan Tencza – USA Today Sports


More Posts

Send Us A Message