Carolina Panthers OLB Brian Burns gets more leverage
One would be hard-pressed to see how Brian Burns could receive any more leverage during contract negotiations. The Carolina Panthers turned down a king's ransom from the Los Angeles Rams for the edge presence before the 2022 trade deadline and unless someone else steps up, have no consistent pass-rushing outlet aside from their former first-round selection.
Burns is letting his representatives handle the numbers side of things, which could be in the $20-25 million per year range looking at how the market stands currently. Showing up at training camp when others are holding out was a big statement of intent and the player received another confidence boost recently courtesy of the NFL's top-100 list.
It would have been blasphemy had Burns not gone up after his 12.5-sack season and second-straight Pro Bowl appearance. Thankfully there was nothing too much to moan about as the Florida State product landed at No. 54, just behind prestigious names such as Jonathan Allen and Aaron Rodgers.
This probably means more than most rankings given it's voted for by the players themselves. And if Burns' representatives need it, they might want to direct those in power to the list as another bargaining chip before something gets signed.
Just when something becomes official remains to be seen. Ideally, Burns would like something in place before the season, but the Panthers could also slap the franchise tag on his head next spring if working something out becomes more difficult than anticipated.