Panthers News: Brian Burns, Brandon Smith, The Blueprint and expectations

Brian Burns
Brian Burns / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
4 of 4

When will the Carolina Panthers extend Brian Burns?

Tying Brian Burns down seems to have risen quickly to become the Carolina Panthers' top priority with free agency and the 2023 NFL Draft firmly in the rearview mirror. There is mutual confidence something will get done, but just when this comes about could be crucial.

Burns wants to get top dollar, that much is obvious after the Panthers made no secret about his importance to their long-term plans before the 2022 trade deadline. However, there are other exceptional pass-rushers due their money soon, which could reset the market unless Carolina acts quickly.

When writing about the timeframe for Burns' extension, David Newton of ESPN stated that even though a whopping new contract for the former first-round selection out of Florida State might take time, he expects something to emerge either before training camp or the regular season, at the very latest.

"Getting a deal done, however, might take some time. The two sides are talking, but Burns wants to be among the league's highest paid at his position. The four highest-paid edge rushers average $23.75 million per year, led by T.J. Watt at more than $28 million. [Brian] Burns has made the case with 38 sacks over his first four seasons, and his production should only go up in Ejiro Evero's new 3-4 defensive scheme. Getting something done by training camp, or at least the start of the season, seems likely."

David Newton, ESPN

Burns is the biggest cap number on the Panthers currently on his $16.01 million fifth-year option. Something that could continue long into the future based on how much he'll likely command on his next deal.