Panthers Use Franchise Tag on Pass-Rusher Brian Burns, But Questions Remain

Panthers Use Franchise Tag on Pass-Rusher Brian Burns, But Questions Remain

The Carolina Panthers made a significant move on Tuesday by placing the non-exclusive franchise tag on star pass-rusher Brian Burns. This ensures he will remain with the team for the 2024 season, but it also raises questions about his long-term future in Carolina.

Burns, a 25-year-old edge rusher, is coming off a productive season with a team-leading 8.0 sacks. He has emerged as a vital piece of the Panthers’ defense, earning Pro Bowl recognition in 2023. However, negotiations for a long-term contract between Burns and the Panthers stalled recently, leading the team to use the franchise tag.

The tag guarantees Burns a one-year deal worth approximately $24 million, which is the average salary for the top-tier edge rushers in the league. While this secures his financial situation for the upcoming season, it falls short of a long-term agreement that would provide Burns with the security and financial stability he desires.

The use of the franchise tag can be interpreted in two ways. On the one hand, it demonstrates the Panthers’ commitment to keeping Burns, a cornerstone of their defense. He is a disruptive force on the field, and losing him would be a significant blow.

However, the tag can also be seen as a temporary solution while the Panthers attempt to reach a long-term deal with Burns. The non-exclusive designation allows other teams to negotiate with Burns, and if they offer a contract that the Panthers are unwilling to match, Burns could potentially leave Carolina.

This scenario adds an element of uncertainty to the situation. While the Panthers have secured Burns’ services for at least one year, his long-term future remains unclear. There are several possibilities:

  • Reaching a Long-Term Deal: Both sides could resume negotiations and ultimately reach an agreement on a contract extension that satisfies both Burns and the Panthers. This would be the ideal outcome for the team, ensuring Burns’ long-term presence in Carolina.
  • Trade Scenario: The Panthers could use the franchise tag as leverage in potential trade talks. With Burns under contract for one year, they could potentially receive significant compensation from another team willing to acquire his services. This might be a viable option if the Panthers are unable to reach a long-term deal with Burns, or if they are looking to rebuild their roster and acquire draft picks.
  • Burns Plays on the Tag: Burns could choose to play on the one-year contract offered by the franchise tag. This would allow him to become an unrestricted free agent in 2025, potentially commanding an even larger contract on the open market.

The Panthers’ decision to use the franchise tag on Burns is a significant development with several potential ramifications. While it ensures his presence for the upcoming season, it also raises questions about his long-term future in Carolina. The coming months will be crucial in determining whether the Panthers can reach a long-term agreement with Burns, explore trade possibilities, or prepare for the possibility of him leaving in 2025.

In addition to the points above, here are some additional details to consider:

  • The Panthers have reportedly rejected trade offers for Burns in the past, including one from the Los Angeles Rams. This suggests a strong desire to keep him on the team.
  • The use of the franchise tag can sometimes create tension between players and teams. Burns’ reaction to the tag and his willingness to negotiate a long-term deal will be interesting to follow.
  • The Panthers’ salary cap situation could play a role in long-term contract negotiations with Burns. They will need to create sufficient space under the cap to accommodate his desired contract value.

Overall, the Panthers’ use of the franchise tag on Brian Burns is a strategic move with both short-term and long-term implications. The coming months will be critical in determining the star pass-rusher’s future with the Carolina Panthers.tunesharemore_vert