3 former Carolina Panthers who won’t live up to their new contracts

Will these former Carolina Panthers be worth the money?

Shaquill Griffin
Shaquill Griffin / Courtney Culbreath/GettyImages
3 of 3

Brian Burns - Former Carolina Panthers OLB

It seemed from a long way out as if the Carolina Panthers and Brian Burns were going to go their separate ways. Those in power placed the franchise tag on their star edge rusher to prevent him from leaving for nothing in free agency, but they got no closer to reaching a long-term extension with the former first-round pick.

Burns' contract situation was handled terribly by the previous regime. Dan Morgan - who was part of the brain trust that turned down two first-round picks and a second-rounder from the Los Angeles Rams in 2022 - had to clean up the mess he helped create. The non-exclusive tag gave the former Florida State star a chance to get another offer from elsewhere. Something the New York Giants were more than willing to provide.

The Panthers got a second-round pick and a fifth-rounder next year for Burns. That's laughable compensation considering his talent, but all leverage had been lost long ago.

More importantly for the pass-rusher, he got paid. Handsomely. Burns signed a five-year, $141 million contract with the Giants that also included a $35 million signing bonus and $87.5 million guaranteed. He's now being compensated like one of the league's elite pass-rushers. It's also a sum the Panthers were unwilling to match in their current plight.

Burns has no more excuses. The Giants are expecting big things from the player alongside Dexter Lawrence and Kayvon Thibodeaux. Anything less than Pro Bowl-caliber production isn't going to cut it.