Carolina Panthers could tag and trade Brian Burns
The Carolina Panthers have completely mismanaged the contract situation with Brian Burns. One of their core pieces was nothing but professional throughout the offseason, joining his teammates throughout camp while others around the league sat out before getting paid handsomely.
General manager Scott Fitterer and his staff almost took advantage of Burns' good nature. This led to obvious frustrations amid another disastrous campaign, so one has to ask why the former first-round pick would want to stay in Carolina given the team's current state.
Those in power - whoever they might be - are not going to let Burns leave for nothing in free agency. They've turned down multiple trade offers for the edge rusher over the last two years, so the franchise tag is the most likely outcome with contract negotiations on hold.
In an ideal world, Burns would sign a long-term deal and continue to flourish heading into his prime. But he's cut a forlorn figure in recent weeks and frustrations reached boiling point when he was ejected at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so one could forgive the player for wanting a change of scenery.
A tag-and-trade scenario isn't ideal considering Burns' importance. However, nothing should be completely dismissed with the Panthers having no first-round selection and needing to hit the reset button on a proper rebuild.