Former NFL legends flame Carolina Panthers for botching Brian Burns trade

Shannon Sharpe and Chad Ochocinco seem to think that the Carolina Panthers really fumbled the Brian Burns situation.

Brian Burns
Brian Burns / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers handled the Brian Burns situation poorly, and a couple of former NFL legends sounded off about it.

Due to the unfortunate ineptitude of former general manager Scott Fitterer, the Carolina Panthers weren't able to properly handle the situation with their former pass rusher Brian Burns. Frankly, it's sad the way it ended, but it's not fair to blame Dan Morgan for the way it did.

It felt like from the start, Fitterer had no grip on the situation, failing to reach a long-term contract extension with the player and turning down a very rich trade offer from the Los Angeles Rams. In hindsight, this was a grave error in judgment.

"Before the 2022 trade deadline, the Panthers reportedly had a massive offer from the Los Angeles Rams for the star pass-rusher. Reports claim that the Rams offered first-round picks in 2024 and 2025, as well as a second-round pick in 2025, for Burns' services. Despite that massive haul, the Panthers ultimately turned the Rams down."

Jonathan Alfano, Sports Illustrated

Not only did Fitterer turn down this apparent offer from Les Snead and the Rams, but it ended with the Panthers not being able to lock the talented pass-rusher up for the long term. Earlier this offseason, Burns was sent to the New York Giants for a measly second and fifth-round pick, a far cry from the original offer made before the 2022 deadline.

Carolina Panthers lambasted for Brian Burns trade outcome

Shannon Sharpe and Chad Ochocinco, on the "Nightcap" podcast, sounded off on the situation:

"Carolina, they lose Brian Burns, they get a second and a fifth from the Giants, but they just paid a guard a hundred million dollars... they got him from the Dolphins, Robert Hunt. Afterwards they allow linebacker Frankie Luvu to leave, three years $36 million to the Commanders. This lets you know they don't know what the [expletive] they're doing. They previously turned down a pair of first-round picks from the Rams."

Shannon Sharpe, Nightcap

Both Sharpe and Ochocinco are just taking the Panthers through the cleaners in this segment. Burns played in 80 games during his time with Carolina from 2019-2023, racking up 46 sacks, 246 tackles, 59 tackles for loss, and 95 quarterback hits. Across a 17-game season, the Florida State product averaged 10 sacks, 20 QB hits, and 13 tackles for loss over his five-year career.

And 2023 seemed to be a down year for Burns. He still was able to sack opposing quarterbacks eight times, while also adding 16 tackles for loss and 18 quarterback hits. As Panthers fans know, the former first-round pick is one of the most elite and best pass-rushers in the NFL. The Giants are getting a stud along their defensive line, and Morgan will essentially only have a second-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft to show for it.

Currently, Carolina is slated to pick two times in the second round, as they hold picks No. 33 and No. 39. They also hold the top selection of the third round, which is pick No. 65, so if you want to stretch it a bit for optimism's sake, one could argue that the Panthers have three second-round picks.

With the Panthers addressing their offensive line in free agency, signing both Robert Hunt and Damien Lewis, the team could turn their attention to the wide receiver position with their second-rounders.

Getting an upgrade at left tackle might also be a possibility. Luckily, the second round is chock full of great value, and the 2024 NFL Draft is a very deep class at tackle.

While the Panthers severely mismanaged the situation with Burns, the new regime might be able to make something out of it. Both head coach Dave Canales and Morgan are under a ton of pressure to right the ship. Thus far, there's a lot to like.