Brian Burns' revenge game adds spice to Carolina Panthers' international clash

This adds another fascinating dynamic.
Brian Burns
Brian Burns / Michael Karas / USA TODAY NETWORK

One could forgive Brian Burns for circling one game above all else on the 2024 calendar. The former Carolina Panthers edge rusher can go up against his old employers during his first campaign away from the franchise. As it turned out, this revenge mission will also get an international audience.

After speculation grew about the Panthers' potential opponent when they hosted an international game at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany, the league confirmed during a special announcement that it would be the New York Giants. Of course, this is the same franchise that decided to swoop for Carolina's most explosive pass-rusher via trade earlier this offseason.

The mouth-watering clash, which will take place in Week 10, should be a good chance for the Panthers to get a morale-boosting victory if everything has gone well beforehand. However, the presence of Burns on the opposite sideline for the first time since he was drafted No. 16 overall out of Florida State adds extra spice to the equation.

Carolina Panthers must be wary of Brian Burns revenge factor

Had things been different and the Panthers' previous regime handled his situation with more professionalism, things would have been different. Burns wanted to stay and had his best years ahead of him. Carolina also showed its hand regarding player value by spurning a lucrative trade offer from the Los Angeles Rams which featured compensation normally reserved for quarterbacks.

Burns immediately had all the leverage and knew his worth. After stating on countless occasions that the edge presence was a cornerstone piece they wanted to tie down for the long term, those in power previously couldn't - or perhaps weren't willing - to meet his demands.

Scott Fitterer and Samir Suleiman paid for their abysmal handling of team affairs with their jobs. By the time Dan Morgan and Brandt Tilis took charge, the predicament with Burns couldn't be salvaged. He was given the franchise tag and moved on for nothing more than a second-round pick, a fifth-rounder in 2025, and a late-round swap.

The Panthers brought in Jadeveon Clowney and D.J. Wonnum to potentially fill the void. But when the time comes to assess the 2024 season, Burns' departure might be more sorely felt than any other.

He landed in a good spot. The Giants have a formidable front seven, so putting Burns next to the likes of Dexter Lawrence and Kayvon Thibodeaux comes with obvious potential attached. Morgan cannot be criticized for moving the player, he was on damage control after those who came before left an incredible mess to clean up.

There should be a good traveling contingent from both sets of fans for this one. We should also know by this stage of the campaign just how many improvements Dave Canales has been able to make during his debut campaign as the team's head coach.

All eyes will be on Burns, and rightfully so. The staff will know full well what he brings to the table. More importantly, the player will be fully aware of the weak links in Carolina's protection and look to exploit them accordingly.

He'll deny it publicly, but Burns will be motivated beyond measure to make the Panthers pay for letting yet another top-level performer in their prime depart. Canales' men must be ready for the challenge.