5 Carolina Panthers players who’ll outperform their pay grade in 2021

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) D.J. Moore
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) D.J. Moore /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /

Brian Burns – Carolina Panthers DE

  • 2021 cap hit – $3.69 million
  • 2022 cap hit – $4.3 million

Another player that looks destined for greatness in 2021 is Brian Burns. The stud defensive end has every tool that one looks for in elite NFL pass-rushers, something the former Florida State sensation demonstrated on countless occasions during his sophomore campaign.

Burns is must more than just an explosive presence coming off the edge these days. He is far more disciplined against the run and cam even drop back in coverage if defensive coordinator Phil Snow wishes to throw something a little bit different the opposition’s way.

However, it’s getting after the quarterback where Burns thrives.

The Carolina Panthers struck gold when they selected Burns at No. 16 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft. His role as a defensive leader really caught the eye over the second half of the campaign and considering the upgrade in talent around him, the sky is the limit.

If Burns reaches the level expected, then he will have formally outplayed his rookie deal.

Carolina has the option of picking up him fifth-year option next spring to give them a little more time regarding an extension. Burns might be waiting a while yet to get the bumper deal he’ll no doubt deserve.

Burns is an indispensable member of the Panthers. A player that everyone is looking to for exceptional production and supreme leadership in equal measure.