Panthers News: Bryce Young, Brian Burns, Miles Sanders and dark horses

Brian Burns
Brian Burns / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers OLB Brian Burns ranked

Fans are waiting with bated breath for news regarding a bumper new contract for Brian Burns either before or during the 2023 season. The star edge presence took another leap forward in 2022 en route to his second-straight Pro Bowl selection, which was made all the more remarkable by the Carolina Panthers having no consistent pass-rush opposite on the defensive front.

Burns is switching to a 3-4 outside linebacker within Ejiro Evero's scheme and could excel heading into a contract year. Negotiations will be difficult considering the money involved, but there seems to be a mutual willingness to keep complications to a minimum in pursuit of a successful outcome.

Just where Burns ranks among other top-end edge players around the league will also play a role in negotiations. According to Doug Farrar of USA Today Sports, the one-time Florida State stud sits at No. 8 league-wide.

"The Panthers were a heavy blitz team in the 2022 season, sending extra rushers on 31% of their snaps, which ranked sixth in the NFL. That shouldn’t at all diminish what [Brian] Burns did last season. The 16th overall pick in the 2019 draft out of Florida State had a career-defining season in 2022, racking up 13 sacks, 11 quarterback hits, 44 quarterback hurries, and 32 stops. With blitz-heavy teams, you want to look at sacks with four or fewer rushers, and Burns had five of those last season."

Doug Farrar, USA Today Sports

This put Burns just one place behind Haason Reddick, his former Panthers teammate who attained second-team All-Pro honors last season. And once he gets paid handsomely at some stage in the coming weeks, then Carolina will be expecting elite-level production for the duration of his deal.