4 burning questions Carolina Panthers fans are asking ahead of Week 1 at Falcons

There are some issues facing the Carolina Pathers heading into Week 1.
Bijan Robinson
Bijan Robinson / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers OLB Brian Burns' contract

Are we gonna give Brian Burns his extension? - Austin P.

This is the elephant in the room, so to speak. Brian Burns is still waiting on a contract extension as he begins the final year of his rookie contract. It has become the talk of the town after the Carolina Panthers chose not to give him a new deal during the offseason.

After all, the franchise did turn down a 2023 second-round selection and two future first-round picks from the Los Angeles Rams last year and told the Chicago Bears "no" on adding Burns in the negotiations for the No. 1 overall pick. They were right in doing so, though this opened the door to the Panthers having very little - if any - leverage in these negotiations.

There is hope, though, that the former Florida State standout will either play the season without a contract considering he was a full participant in Wednesday's practice, or secure an extension within the next 72 to 96 hours following Nick Bosa's record, and market-setting agreement with the San Francisco 49ers.

My theory since the summer has always been that Carolina's front office has been waiting for the first domino, Bosa, to fall before ramping up talks with Burns. This could very well be the case after San Francisco's star pass rusher secured a five-year, $170 million extension with $122.5 guaranteed while now averaging a mind-boggling $34 million per year.

Because Carolina has waited this long to see how things play out, they're being placed in a position where they almost have to pay Burns an average annual salary of anywhere between $28 million and $34.5 million. Had those in power bit the bullet sooner, it could have been less.

Personally, the Panthers made their bed. It might be a slight overpay, but Burns is going to get paid in that range and some fans will just have to accept that fact whether they like it or not.

I believe Burns is more than deserving of this money and has not reached his ceiling yet. This is scary for the rest of the NFC South and the NFL.