Burns is coming off of a career year in which he recorded 63 combined tackles, 22 QB hits and 12.5 sacks while earning his second Pro Bowl bid. The former No. 16 overall pick out of Florida State is one of the most important players on Carolina's roster, and the Panthers proved it when they reportedly turned down a trade offer from the Los Angeles Rams that included at least two first-round picks for him.
Burns and defensive tackle Derrick Brown were two players the Panthers when negotiating for the No. 1 overall pick from the Chicago Bears. General manager Scott Fitterer said they were just too difficult to replace.
"There were certain players that we never really wanted to trade," Fitterer said, via The Athletic. "It's so hard to replace a Derrick Brown or Brian Burns, a pass rusher (and) an interior, dominant young player on a (first) contract. D.J. (Moore), we didn't want to move, either. But it's a little bit easier to replace a receiver than it is a pass-rusher or a three-tech."