The Carolina Panthers have made some big trades ahead of the 2022 NFL trade deadline, but they may be passing on the biggest opportunity for a draft pick haul. Adam Schefter reported on October 23rd that an unknown team offered the Panthers two first round picks in exchange for pass rusher Brian Burns.
A week later, Albert Breer is now reporting that it was the Rams who made that offer. Jokes will be made about how far out those picks are, but we can safely say they were the 2024 and 2025 first round picks. The Rams traded away their 2023 first to the Lions in the deal that landed them Matthew Stafford.
Burns is in the fourth year of his rookie deal, earning $2,341,389 in base salary. The team exercised the fifth year option on the pass rusher, which would pay him $16,012,000 in 2023. He’s likely to secure a contract extension ahead of that final year salary, but it will be a pricey one.
The Panthers won’t be playoff competitive for at least a couple more years, so the team has to decide if they want to build around the 24-year old Burns or further their rebuilding efforts. A decision to turn down a pair of first round picks, even in 2024 and 2025, suggests they’ll stick with Burns as a core part of their rebuilding effort.