Carolina Panthers great urges team to prioritize Brian Burns extension in 2023

Mike Rucker made his opinon clear regarding Brian Burns' pending contract extension with the Carolina Panthers.
Brian Burns
Brian Burns / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Burns is looking for a new deal and Carolina Panthers great Mike Rucker urged the organization to make this a matter of extreme urgency.

The Carolina Panthers have yet to confirm a new deal with Brian Burns despite general manager Scott Fitterer stating earlier this spring that it would become the team's biggest remaining priority once the 2023 NFL Draft concluded. That was months ago, so one could be forgiven for being a little concerned that nothing has materialized as yet.

Burns is an integral part of Carolina's plans. The franchise also showed its hand by turning down a whopping trade offer from the Los Angeles Rams for the stud pass-rusher just before the 2022 deadline.

The former first-round selection is obviously looking for a hefty sum. Burns has risen steadily with every passing year and with two-straight Pro Bowls and 38 career sacks so far, he's worth every cent coming his way.

Mike Rucker urges Carolina Panthers to pay Brian Burns

This was a sentiment echoed by Panthers great Mike Rucker via Alex Zietlow of The Herald. When discussing Burns' upcoming deal, the ex-defensive end was convinced that Carolina should pay up thanks to position importance and the player's emerging influence both on and off the field.

"I feel like when you look at this game over the years, it’s changed. You see there’s a premium on quarterbacks. And I think you see a premium on guys who can get after the quarterback. So once you identify one of those two positions — and there are other positions like corner, wide receiver, etc — both those two can dictate a game really quick. And we’ve seen it. We’ve been on the good ends sometimes and the bad ends on the other, but those two positions are key, and him being one of those guys. And him being a young guy, who gives back, loves the game, respects the game — I would definitely think he’s a high priority for the organization."

Mike Rucker via The Herald

Much like the situation with quarterback Bryce Young's rookie deal, there is no need for fans to begin panicking just yet. However, if Burns threatens to hold out - which is entirely possible considering he's still working his way back from offseason surgery - it becomes more of a complication.

The Panthers can ill afford to have any established stars missing a prolonged period of camp considering this is a brand new coaching staff trying to install their methods. But negotiations regarding such a substantial contract generally take time.

Burns will be after a premium in the region of around $20 million per season. If Nick Bosa signs his deal beforehand, the dollars on his demands could go up as a result given that the San Francisco 49ers' edge phenom will reset the market.

Carolina's loyal fanbase can relax safe in the knowledge that the likes of Samir Suleiman, Scott Fitterer, and team owner David Tepper and shrewd operators on the business side of things. There is also a mutual willingness to get something sorted and keep Burns around for his prime years.

Rucker is right - this should be and probably is a big priority for the Panthers in the coming days. And if something doesn't get worked out before camp, it's not necessarily the end of the world.