Revelations leave the Carolina Panthers short-changed over Brian Burns

The compensation was lower than expected.
Brian Burns
Brian Burns / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Morgan felt there was no option other than to trade Brian Burns. He was part of the brain trust that turned down a whopping offer from the Los Angeles Rams consisting of two first-round picks and more before the 2022 deadline. This sparked a chain of events that eventually saw the Carolina Panthers' most productive edge rusher depart.

Those in power previously mismanaged Burns' contract situation abysmally. Scott Fitterer claimed on countless occasions that extending him long-term was among his biggest priorities. Time and time again the player was let down despite showing plenty of good faith.

Burns showed up to last summer's training camp to avoid being a distraction. The Panthers took advantage of his team-first approach while others who sat around the league got paid handsomely. This fractured the relationship past the point of no return.

Even when Fitterer was mercifully removed from the equation and Carolina placed the franchise tag on Burns, contract talks didn't get anywhere fast. Morgan traded the former Florida State standout to the New York Giants for far less than the team refused once upon a time.

NY Giants thought it would take more for Carolina Panthers to trade Brian Burns

The Giants were also surprised by how little it took to get Burns based on the trailer for HBO's Hard Knocks.

When discussing the possibility of acquiring the player, general manager Joe Schoen thought the cost would have been two second-round picks in addition to giving him a contract worth around $28-29 million per season. Carolina accepted a second-round selection, a fifth-round pick swap, and a 2025 fifth-rounder to get this deal over the line.

Talk about feeling short-changed.

Morgan took the best offer. If there was a better one available, Burns would be playing somewhere else. That indicates teams were probably unwilling to match the money attached to an extension despite the fact he's only just entering his prime with two Pro Bowl appearances under his belt. The Giants had no such concerns.

This only adds to the frustration about how things went down between Burns and the Panthers. He wanted to stay and turn things around. However, the tipping point had been reached long before Morgan was promoted to the front-office leadership position.

The compensation received for one of the league's best young explosive edge presences is a contentious issue. Couple this with the departures of Frankie Luvu and Yetur Gross-Matos, the Panthers' pass-rush could become a weak link unless Jadeveon Clowney and D.J. Wonnum become a productive tandem.

As for Burns? He got the lucrative deal he was looking for. The 2019 first-round pick also gets the chance to line up on a Giants defensive front that includes Dexter Lawrence II and Kayvon Thibodeaux. That's the most prolific supporting cast he's had since joining forces with Derrick Brown and Haason Reddick.

The Panthers made a habit of letting star players leave when they had so much more to offer throughout the reigns of Fitterer and Matt Rhule. This was just a mess Morgan had to clean up, but tying up Brown early to avoid the same complications indicates this is going to alter moving forward.

That doesn't change the fact Burns is gone. It also doesn't change the fact New York got a steal.