Brian Burns is a team-first guy, which is why amidst ongoing contact negotiations when others in his position would’ve held out – he has shown up. He showed up to training, he has shown up to meetings and he has shown up to practice. Now it’s time for the Panthers to show up for him.
Last season Carolina reportedly turned down two first round picks to keep Burns. At that moment the Panthers made it clear they were in it for the long haul with their 25-year old pass rusher. Less than a year later Brian not only wants a long-term contact, he’s earned it.
Friday, the reigning defensive player of the year, Nick Bosa, signed a record-breaking five-year $34 million dollar a year contract – making him the highest paid defensive player in the NFL. When the deal was announced many, including myself, believed Burn’s deal would be imminent. Two days later, we’re still on a contract watch that has put an ominous cloud over what should be a bright time.
Although Burns’ sacks and tackles-for-a-loss numbers aren’t what Bosa’s are, his impact on the game is felt just as much.
This is not how the revamped Panthers want to head into week one. During the off-season the franchise did everything it needed to do to reach the level of “sustained excellence” David Tepper said would be the norm when he bought the franchise back in 2018. They revamped their coaching staff and without hesitation made a blockbuster trade to move up to the number pick to select quarterback Bryce Young. Now when the time comes to solidify their pass rush for years to come they’re dragging their feet.
The Panthers can’t afford this. Opening the season with TWO NFC South opponents puts them in a unique position to make themselves front runners in the division off rip. That’s not going to happen without Burns.
It’s time to get this deal done, so everyone can solely focus on what’s important. Football.