3 pressing Carolina Panthers priorities after the 2023 NFL Draft

Scott Fitterer
Scott Fitterer / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers
Brian Burns / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers must pay Brian Burns

One thing general manager Scott Fitterer stated earlier this offseason was extending Brian Burns would become a major need for the Carolina Panthers once their 2023 NFL Draft commitments ended. When approached about the subject recently, the front office figure was confident something would get finalized before the campaign.

While there is no timeline for the extension, Burns is about to become a wealthy man. The defensive end continues to emerge as one of the league's most explosive edge rushers, earning his second-straight Pro Bowl selection last season after attaining a career-high 12.5 sacks.

The switch to a 3-4 outside linebacker within Ejiro Evero's system could see Burns reach new heights next season. Getting him tied down long-term ahead of time is going to cost the Panthers, but it could also save them money if the former first-round pick takes another leap forward.

According to Spotrac's valuations, Burns could command an annual salary of $18.3 million on a four-year, $73.35 million deal. Considering how much the top pass-rushers are getting these days, this looks relatively cheap for someone with his best years ahead of him.

Somewhere in the $20-25 million region per year might be the going rate. And considering the Panthers have already laid their cards on the table regarding Burns' importance, they should pay up accordingly.