4 burning questions Carolina Panthers fans are asking ahead of Week 17 at Jaguars

Fans have questions with just two weeks of the regular season remaining.

Mike Macdonald
Mike Macdonald / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers WR strategy/Brian Burns' future

Would you rather take a versatile lineman at 33 and target Higgins/Pittman in FA? Or take the best WR on the board? Also, what are the odds we move Burns for draft capital? – @holdmytake

Oh, man. I love “would you rather” questions. Carolina Panthers fans, I ask that you send me more of these to answer each week for the Cat Crave mailbag.

As of the writing of this article, I have no preference for taking an offensive lineman over a wide receiver or vice versa at No. 33 overall. It is very early in the process and nothing is guaranteed at this point.

However, considering the depth I’m seeing during my early evaluations of the wide receiver class, I would rather take a versatile lineman in the second round while focusing on bringing in a top free-agent wideout beforehand.

From my early viewings of the offensive line class so far, it feels top-heavy at offensive tackle and across the interior. If that is the case, take the best protector available. Drafting the best player available would be smart by the Panthers considering the potential state of their roster come late April.

As for the second question about Brian Burns’ future in Carolina, I expect him to be back for at least another year, likely on the franchise tag and not the non-exclusive tag. Whether you agree with this statement or not, he is too valuable of a player to put on the non-exclusive tag.

The new front office that the Panthers are likely to have may view Burns in a similar light. This would ensure both sides continue working on a long-term extension.

I don’t expect Carolina to move Burns for draft capital. I don’t believe at this moment he is worth the two first-round picks the Los Angeles Rams offered two seasons ago. Right now, it is likely to be a first and late Day 2/early Day 3 selection.

With the dip in production and lack of a true rushing mate opposite of him, it’s hard to judge Burns and what type of player he is, at least from my point of view.

That storyline will be one to keep an eye on very closely. Either the Panthers will be able to secure their star pass rusher on a long-term deal or Burns makes a change and looks for a new team in free agency.