4 boldest pre-draft moves from the Carolina Panthers 2024 offseason

Dan Morgan hasn't been shy about going bold this offseason.
Diontae Johnson
Diontae Johnson / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers traded Brian Burns

Arguably the hottest topic of all entering the 2024 offseason was Brian Burns' contract situation. The edge rusher played out the final year of his rookie contract and a new deal seemed a long way off from being finalized. Dan Morgan took the expected decision to place the franchise tag on the former first-round pick to prevent him from leaving for nothing in free agency.

This provided some hope things could be worked out. Nothing materialized in the weeks after, which eventually concluded with the Carolina Panthers trading Burns to the New York Giants for a second-round pick, a fifth-round pick in 2025, and a late-round selection swap.

It was a far cry from the whopping trade offer Carolina turned down for Burns before the 2022 deadline - consisting of two first-round picks and a second-rounder - that came via the Los Angeles Rams. But this was a mess directly caused by the previous regime. Morgan just had the unfortunate task of cleaning it up.

Burns got the money he was looking for almost immediately. If the Panthers had any sense, they'd have got something done with the explosive pass-rusher before they lost leverage. Instead, they fumbled every chance to do right by the player and left this relationship past the point of no return.

In truth, Morgan didn't have much choice other than to trade Burns. It's another top-level performer departing the franchise in their prime, but he'd been backed into a corner by the incompetent previous regime led by Scott Fitterer and previous salary-cap manager Samir Suleiman. Signing Jadeveon Clowney and D.J. Wonnum should help fill the void, but there's just no telling for sure.

The Florida State product has the chance to enter superstardom with the Giants. Burns joins a defensive front that also includes Dexter Lawrence and Kayvon Thibodeaux, which could be among the league's most potent trios if everything clicks right away.