Grading the Carolina Panthers' first five major moves in 2024 free agency

It was a dramatic start for new general manager Dan Morgan.

Damien Lewis
Damien Lewis / Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers traded Brian Burns

The long-running saga between Brian Burns and the Carolina Panthers reached its tipping point. After placing the non-exclusive franchise tag on the star edge rusher - which permitted him to speak with other teams - the New York Giants quickly came calling with the sort of contract offer he'd been craving.

After that, it was down to trade talks. The Panthers eventually settled on a second-round pick in 2024 and a fifth-rounder in 2025. New York and Carolina will be swapping fifth-round picks as part of the transaction.

Burns got a fresh start and the long-term financial security he deserves. As for Carolina? They get a decent draft pick and financial flexibility.

That's about all the positives to take. Burns becomes the latest Panthers player to depart in their prime. With Frankie Luvu and Yetur Gross-Matos also taking their chances elsewhere, Carolina's edge options have been completely decimated.

Grade: F-

Considering the Panthers turned down two first-round picks and a second-rounder for Burns in 2022 from the Los Angeles Rams, this level of compensation represents the incompetence of those who came before. Scott Fitterer has blood on his hands - Dan Morgan does too based on recent revelations from Joe Person of The Athletic. They mismanaged this situation terribly - something that won't go unnoticed by others looking to get paid in the not-too-distant future.

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