Examining the 5 biggest financial commitments on the Carolina Panthers in 2023

Brian Burns
Brian Burns / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages
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2. Brian Burns - Carolina Panthers OLB

  • $16.01 million in 2023

Brian Burns is evidence of the fact that when you play for a smaller market team that isn't a playoff contender, you will be overlooked. The edge rusher hasn't been in an ideal situation with the Carolina Panthers but continues to produce at the highest level.

Through his first four seasons in the league, Burns has 77 quarterback hits in 64 games and 38 sacks with seven forced fumbles. There are very few positions that you pay without question in this league and Burns clearly plays one of them.

While there are clear concerns in the Carolina secondary, the front seven should be improved under Ejiro Evero and give Burns the chance to set another career high in 2023. The one-time Florida State star has put together all of this production through a rebuild while dealing with complete dysfunction at the head coaching position - something that should also change moving forward.

This speaks to his talent and brings up the obvious question of what numbers could Burns have put up in a great situation. Carolina has one of the best young defensive players in the league and boasts reason to believe the explosive pass rusher is more than capable of being among the elite players at the position next season.