Confusion surrounding Carolina Panthers OLB Brian Burns
With no new deal on the table, speculation rose about whether or not Brian Burns would participate in Week 1 at the Atlanta Falcons. The stud pass-rusher has shown a tremendous amount of good faith to the organization throughout the summer, but there is clearly a reluctance to make him one of the league's best-paid players at the position despite his importance.
Just why the Panthers are playing hardball with their most dynamic weapon is anyone's guess. They laid their cards on the table once a huge trade offer from the Los Angeles Rams was rejected, so Burns has all the leverage even if Scott Fitterer, Samir Suleiman, and team owner David Teper think otherwise.
Burns was on the plane to Atlanta and although both sides reportedly remain some way off in terms of negotiations, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN stated that expectations are that the former first-round selection out of Florida State will be on the field.
This was not a sentiment echoed by Will Kunkel from FOX Houston. The presenter - who's been on top of this saga from the outset - posted on social media that the Panthers have no idea whether Burns will suit up or not at this juncture.
It's been an unnecessary distraction for head coach Frank Reich. He wants Burns around and has praised his professionalism, but a plan will already be ready to go if he decides to sit out.
And after the way Carolina's gone about this entire process, who would blame him for doing so?