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Detroit Lions v Carolina Panthers

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After a brief absence, Brian Burns was spotted at practice today, wearing full pads, although he did not participate in the team’s stretching routine, but was a full participant during team drills. His absence was described as a “personal matter”, but many believe it was him, seeking a deal to be done before the season opener, this Sunday at Atlanta. Burns and his camp were seeking a new deal, worth around $28 million a year, meanwhile, the Panthers seemed more comfortable paying roughly $23 million. The self-imposed holdout was in response to Nick Bosa waiting for a new deal from the 49ers, which was completed today, as he signed a historic, five-year, $170 million dollar contract, making him the highest defensive player in NFL history.

While Burns may have reported to practice, this doesn’t mean he’s going to be a full go for Sunday. Frank Reich stated before practice that they will wait until Sunday to make a decision on Burns, even though it is likely he will play as he wasn’t listed on the injury report today. Players like Bosa, and Chris Jones have conducted their holdouts the way you’re used to seeing them done, skipping training camp practices, and picking up fines along the way. With Bosa taken care, of and Jones making it known that if a deal is done before the Chiefs opener tomorrow, he can play, the pressure is on Carolina to get a deal done quickly.

With the two sides rather far apart on a number, it is more likely that the Panthers meet Burns at the number he wants, as to Burns accepting the lower offer. Bosa’a annual average is a little over $34 million, meaning that if Burns accepts the price range that Scott Fitterer has reportedly offered, he’d be making less than $10 million a year than Bosa, and even though Burns isn’t the same player as Bosa, he’s not going to sign a deal that much below market value. When you remember that Burns also has all the leverage in the negotiations, after Carolina opted not to trade him away last year, and the defensive line in a bit of flux after injuries in training camp, the more pressure there is on Carolina to invest in one of their core pieces of the franchise.