5 bold predictions for the Carolina Panthers 2023 offseason

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /
2 of 5
Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /

Carolina Panthers make Brian Burns the NFL’s highest-paid DE

Resisting the temptation to trade Brian Burns for a king’s ransom before the deadline has been a source of great debate among fans. The Carolina Panthers clearly see the Florida State product as a focal point for future success, even if it is going to cost them a substantial amount of money this offseason.

Burns is coming off a career-high 12.5 sacks and a second-straight Pro Bowl appearance. He is also emerging as one of Carolina’s leading voices within the locker room, which is another big bargaining chip when it’s time to begin negotiations.

The question of whether the Panthers will extend Burns heading into the final year of his deal is moot at this juncture. It’s how much Carolina is willing to commit to the former first-round selection.

According to Spotrac, the market value for Burns stands at $18.33 million per season on a four-year, $73.35 million deal. This is a whopping projection whichever way one looks at it, but the Panthers don’t have much choice given their complete lack of pass-rushing consistency from elsewhere.

Burns’ position is so commanding, the Panthers might be forced into making him the NFL’s highest-paid defensive end when push comes to shove.