Panthers go all-in against Brian Burns after rejecting two first-round draft picks and one second-round draft pick from Rams

The Los Angeles Rams started with Brian Burns. They really got into it.

The defending Super Bowl champions have finally been announced as the team that offered two first-round picks for Carolina Panthers passrusher Brian Burns. But that was not all.

The Rams fielded first in 2024, first in 2025 and a 2023 second-round pick to secure Burns from Carolina. The Panthers and GM Scott Fitterer, as we know, said no.

It’s a significant package that Carolina turned down, although without a first-round pick in 2023 it was easier to turn down. A Carolina source told CBS Sports that the team didn’t like the prospect of replacing Burns any time soon.

“If you look at the free agency and the draft, it doesn’t come up with much, especially compared to the player that is Brian,” the source said. “We didn’t think we could replace Brian Burns.”

Carolina obviously regards Burns as a fundamental piece. Burns, a young cornerer in Jaycee Horn, a young left tackle in Ickey Ekwonu make up three of the four necessary parts for a successful NFL team, with the Panthers planning to find a quarterback via the 2023 draft.

After the Rams turned on McCaffrey, Rams GM Les Snead Fitterer re-hired. A source says the original offer was two first-round picks, and then the Rams upped the offer by adding the 2023 second-rounder. The Panthers “didn’t want to make the deal” but have seriously considered it.

Not trading Burns for such a deal suggests the Panthers are sure to make Burns one of the highest-paid pass rushers in the NFL this offseason, well above the $110 million overtime Bradley Chubb just got from received from the Dolphins.

It’s also about the message it would have sent to the players in the Carolina locker room. With an interim head coach, no future quarterback on the roster, and Christian McCaffrey gone to San Francisco, the Panthers couldn’t afford to ship another blue-chip player in the same month while they’re feeding the remaining players into the Eyes look and tell ’em they’re still trying to win games.

The nature of the offer for Burns further demonstrates the Rams’ all-in nature. LA hasn’t used its own first-round pick since Jared Goff’s call-up in 2016, and that deal likely would have meant the Rams wouldn’t have had a first until a full decade later as they continue to maximize the time remaining with the leaving head coach Sean McVay and defensive tackle Aaron Donald.


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