Brian Burns Braces for Free Agency after Panthers Discontinue Contract Discussions

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The Carolina Panthers are facing a pivotal decision regarding linebacker Brian Burns as free agency looms on the horizon. 

The Panthers have told Burns that they will not be pursuing contract talks prior to the start of the free agency period, Josina Anderson. Burns, who the Panthers selected with the 16th overall pick in 2019, has established himself as a vital defensive player.

However, with his rookie contract set to expire, he will become an unrestricted free agent on March 13. Despite the potential for using franchise tags or exploring tag-and-trade options, Carolina has opted to halt discussions on a long-term contract for the time being.

The 25-year-old standout from Florida State showcased his prowess on the field last season, tallying 50 tackles, eight sacks, and a forced fumble. Over his five-year career, Burns has amassed an impressive stat line of 151 tackles, 59 tackles for loss, and eight forced fumbles, earning Pro Bowl honors in 2021 and 2022.

Brian Burns’ Future Uncertainty

brian-burns-braces-for-free-agency-after-panthers-discontinue-contract-discussions
The Carolina Panthers are facing a pivotal decision regarding linebacker Brian Burns as free agency looms on the horizon.

Carolina’s general manager, Dan Morgan, indicated during the NFL combine that the franchise is considering the possibility of using a franchise tag on Burns. However, the decision comes with financial implications, as the tag would cost the Panthers $22.8 million for the 2024 season, with a deadline set for Tuesday at 4pm ET.

Negotiations between Brian Burns and the Panthers have previously hit a snag, with reports suggesting differing valuations. While Burns sought a contract worth approximately $30 million annually, Carolina reportedly offered $27 million per year over five years, according to ESPN’s David Newton.

Should Carolina opt against using the franchise tag, Brian Burns is poised to attract significant interest in the free agency market. With his proven track record and potential for further growth, the linebacker is likely to be a coveted asset for teams seeking defensive talent.

As the Panthers weigh their options in the coming days, the fate of Brian Burns hangs in the balance, with his future in Carolina uncertain as the countdown to free agency continues.

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