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Carolina Panthers v Seattle Seahawks

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After an 0-3 start to the 2023 season, it is fair to say that nobody in the Panthers organization saw this coming. While there are still 14 games to be played, it is hard to imagine the Panthers end up competing for the NFC South division title, and or challenging for a Wild Card spot. What makes that an even harder pill to swallow, is that the Panthers traded away their first-round pick for the 2024 NFL Draft, making it harder to add talent to the roster. The only way that the Panthers can get a first-round draft pick is to obviously either trade away even more future draft capital or move a player on the current roster, that would demand such an asking price.

After the Panthers declined to trade away Brian Burns to the Los Angeles Rams last season, despite being offered multiple first-round selections, and a second-round selection, it appeared that Burns was going to be in Carolina for the foreseeable future. Well after contract talks over the off-season never resulted in a new contract for Burns, his future, for the time being, is up in the air. Burns’s asking price is in the $30 million range, whereas reports claim that Carolina was only offering around $23 million.

At already 0-3, when you look at the Panthers upcoming schedule, a 0-6 start isn’t out of the question, as Carolina hosts the Vikings this Sunday, before traveling to Detroit and Miami, before the bye week. If that comes to fruition, and assuming that Burns doesn’t receive a new contract before then, teams from around the NFL would inquire about the availability of Brian Burns. It’s hard to imagine after his mini hold-in right before the start of the season, that the relationship isn’t a little bit strained on both sides. Even though Scott Fitterer has maintained that Brian Burns is part of the long-term vision for the roster, the fact that he hasn’t paid him what the market is currently demanding brings that into question. And while owner, David Tepper hasn’t made it known that Fitterer’s job is on the line this year, if Carolina starts 0-6, there is going to be pressure to find a way to get back into the first round of the draft, to help address roster needs. For that to happen, the Panthers might need to be willing to move off of their most consistent pass rusher since Julius Peppers, to help set Frank Reich up for the type of success he promised upon being hired back in January.