Carolina Panthers Declined Two First-Round Picks For Brian Burns

At least one Carolina Panthers player is safe from the team's apparent fire sale. 24-year-old edge rusher Brian Burns is staying in Carolina. This despite another team offering the Panthers two first-round draft picks to obtain Burns' services.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported this morning that "the Panthers told that team, however, that they are not trading Burns."

The news is at least somewhat surprising considering the Panthers stink (1-5) and earlier this week traded high-priced talents Robbie Anderson and Christian McCaffrey.

Neither trade involved one first-round pick, let alone two.

Brian Burns Is In His Fourth Season

It's not hard to see why Carolina would like to hold onto Burns. The former Florida State Seminole is one of the league's top pass rushers and still playing on his rookie contract (he was a first-round pick in 2019). In just over three and a half seasons, Burns has accumulated 29.5 sacks and six forced fumbles.

Burns was a Pro Bowler in 2021.

McCaffrey was traded to San Francisco for 2nd, 3rd and 4th round picks in 2023. The 49ers also sent a 5th rounder in 2024. In exchange for Robbie Anderson, the Arizona Cardinals gave Carolina a 2024 sixth round pick and a seventh round pick in 2025.

Brian Burns isn't the only talented Panther staying put for the one-win team. Schefter reports that receiver DJ Moore and defensive cornerstones Derrick Brown and Jaycee Horn are also off the trading block.

Holding onto Burns and other young, talented Panthers seems to fit the approach of Carolina GM Scott Fitterer. After telling the media the team would like to build through the draft while still competing, he insisted there's no fire sale: "We like the young core of our team," Fitterer said. "We're building. This isn't a situation where we're trying to sell. We're trying to add players to this really good mix. These are guys we win with moving forward."

Carolina hosts the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 1:00 pm EST today.

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