Brian Burns' contract saga with Carolina Panthers reaches boiling point

This hasn't been a great start to mending fences...

Brian Burns
Brian Burns / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

After leaking information to the media, the Carolina Panthers' contract situation with Brian Burns is reaching boiling point.

Brian Burns' contract stalemate with the Carolina Panthers seems to take a different turn every day. The organization is leaking information to reporters who follow the team closely. If this is being done to paint the star edge rusher as the villain in these negotiations, it's a bad look.

Burns was reportedly offered a five-year deal that worked out at $27 million per year last summer according to Joe Person of The Athletic. That seems like a decent amount when one considers his value to the team and his upward trajectory before the recently concluded campaign. This revelation resulted in some fans becoming critical of the player on social media.

Of course, it's not that simple. While nobody knows the true ins and outs of these talks aside from a select few, there is normally much more to a contract than just the initial figures. And God forbid an established veteran with plenty of leverage looks to get paid accordingly.

According to some, anyway.

Carolina Panthers continue to mismanage Brian Burns' situation

Burns' brother - Stanley McClover - revealed on social media that all is not what it seems. He wasn't able to give too much away, but it does appear to be a more complex situation than originally feared.

There is no chance of Burns being allowed to walk for nothing. The Panthers will place the franchise tag on him at some stage before the deadline. Those in power could also utilize the non-exclusive term to gauge the interest from elsewhere before reacting accordingly.

Josina Anderson from CBS Sports provided a perfect depiction of Burns' back-and-forth with the Panthers and the ramifications it could have. She highlighted the increased value Carolina placed on him by turning down lucrative trade offers. The respected insider also hinted that the situation is being monitored closely by teammates who could also be looking for extensions in the not-too-distant future.

"The Panthers already assigned additional value to Burns when they also reportedly rejected a trade offer for a minimum of two first-round picks in 2022 for him. In my mind, the Panthers should be considering how Burns could react to the expected tag , and in any potential aftermath if a tag-and-trade doesn't come to pass. I'm sure the Panthers can already visualize what that picture potentially looks like; as I'm equally sure they'd be remiss to accept any compensation less than the deal rejected in 2022. Lastly, the Panthers own players are likely to be observing how Burns is currently being handled, as are future free agents. As I've underlined repeatedly, the energy and morale in the building is just as important, as it is detectable. Potentially floating offers to the press to protect optics-- despite minimal contact with players-- should never be the focus with any player or any team, in my opinion--especially in situations where all options are knowingly on the table."

Josina Anderson via X

After completely mismanaging this situation under the previous regime, it's not a great start under the new power structure. These leaks to the media indicate there is an unwillingness to shift course. Something that could probably be blamed on Dan Morgan and David Tepper being around when the problems started in the first place.

One could forgive Burns for wanting to get out of this organization. It means a lot to him and he wants to stay by all accounts. That said, he should feel a bit let down by the Panthers after these latest developments.

Things like this don't go unnoticed. The Panthers have gotten into an awful habit of allowing top-level performers entering their prime to leave. They haven't handled most situations correctly since Tepper became owner. If the same trend continues, it's going to make it extremely difficult to attract free agents with alternative options.

Good teams pay their best players. They always find a way to make the money work. Those who take a different approach normally suffer heavy consequences. After all, the Panthers are the NFL's laughingstock for a reason.

For fans, the whole situation is becoming tiresome. They have an abundance of critical roster complications to resolve this offseason. The last thing Carolina needs is one of their very few elite players becoming even more disgruntled.

Even if all signs are pointing to this exact scenario coming to fruition right now.