Carolina Panthers OLB Brian Burns' unhappiness
It was another day of no developments on the contract front between the Carolina Panthers and Brian Burns. The edge rusher's good faith in the organization has yet to be reciprocated despite Nick Bosa receiving his market-resetting deal with the San Francisco 49ers earlier this week.
The Panthers are clearly playing hardball with Burns, who is the team's best player and continues to emerge as a respected leader within the locker room. Now, the former first-round selection has a decision to make about whether or not to play in Week 1 versus the Atlanta Falcons.
Burns is well within his right to sit as a matter of principle. It's also clear that unhappiness is growing based on social media posts from the player and his family members.
If Burns ends up sitting and the Panthers get beaten by the Falcons, the reaction will not be favorable among the fanbase. All the good graces earned by general manager Scott Fitterer and team owner David Tepper seem to be fading away thanks to their handling of this situation, even if they lost all leverage by turning down a whopping trade offer from the Los Angeles Rams before the 2022 trade deadline.
The decision about whether or not he'll play is down to Burns. He desperately wants to help his teammates, but the two-time Pro Bowler has to draw the line somewhere after being nothing but the consummate professional all offseason.