Could the LA Rams come back in for Carolina Panthers OLB Brian Burns?

The thought was touted by Pro Football Focus recently...

Brian Burns
Brian Burns / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Could the Los Angeles Rams reignite their interest in Carolina Panthers edge rusher Brian Burns before the 2023 trade deadline?

With the Carolina Panthers sitting at 0-6, it's not hard to see why there is so much talk about selling off assets before the 2023 trade deadline. This is something struggling teams normally do in the hope it can provide a more sustainable plan for long-term success, which bears more significance when one considers they don't boast a first-round pick next spring following their trade with the Chicago Bears to land quarterback Bryce Young.

Things haven't gone according to plan for the Panthers through six weeks. Any talk of winning the NFC South and reaching the postseason was quickly replaced by the rebuilding narrative, which is arguably what those in power should have been preaching to an increasingly frustrated fanbase from the outset.

Carolina Panthers trade Brian Burns in PFF prediction

What the Panthers need to work out is who's expendable and whether their plan is to get that first-rounder back in 2024. A number of names have come up as potential trade candidates, with edge rusher Brian Burns looking like the only realistic option if the primary decision-makers want their supposed premium.

Burns still doesn't have a new contract after lengthy negotiations during the summer. He's performing at a high level despite being the focal point of opposing offensive strategies more often than not, so there should be more than a few teams willing to part ways with decent capital if the Panthers did start taking calls.

Carolina got a whopping offer from the Los Angeles Rams before last year's deadline that they turned down. This was reportedly two first-round selections in 2024 and 2025 coupled with a second-rounder in 2023 for good measure.

While getting that sort of compensation is highly unlikely, Brad Spielberger from Pro Football Focus put forward the notion of Los Angeles going back in for Burns, securing a hypothetical trade that cost a first-rounder (2024), second-rounder (2025), and fourth-rounder (2026).

"A new-look Rams team is exceeding expectations by a good margin so far in 2023 and should be looking to add a premium talent to a roster that ranks dead last in cash spending as opposed to first in cash spending in 2022, when they offered two first-round picks and a second-round pick for Burns. This offer removes one of the first-round picks from the equation, as we’re a year later into Burns’ career with zero cheap years remaining. From Carolina’s perspective, they replace the 2024 first- and 2025 second-round picks they sent to Chicago in the Bryce Young trade."

Brad Spielberger, PFF

The Rams are somehow in the playoff picture despite parting ways with multiple established stars in recent months. Adding Burns to their ranks would offer a dynamic edge presence to go alongside Aaron Donald, who remains a human-wrecking ball on the defensive line interior.

This is all about supply and demand. Carolina lost any leverage it had with Burns weeks ago, but trading the former Florida State star leaves a gaping hole in their pass rush that those already around cannot fill.

That would leave free agency or the draft next year to find a replacement. Even then, acquiring someone with the assets Burns brings to the table is highly unlikely.

The Panthers weren't willing to throw in the towel at 0-4 or even 0-5. Multiple reporters from those close to the organization now think otherwise and Burns is the most coveted piece by far of the names being touted as trade bait.

Whether the Panthers pull the trigger if a substantial offer comes along is another matter.

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