Carolina Panthers’ star pass rusher Brian Burns appears ready to engage in a holdout as Week 1 draws closer.
According to Ari Meirov of The 33rd Team, Burns was absent from team walkthroughs on Monday. Head coach Frank Reich wouldn’t say if Burns’ absence was due to unhappiness with his contract, only that he hopes the 25-year-old will be there for Week 1 against the Atlanta Falcons.
Meirov and the popular @jasrifootball Twitter account both noted that Carolina turned down lucrative offers from Burns: One from the Los Angeles Rams with a package including multiple-first round picks and another from the Chicago Bears, who hoped to land Burns as part of the return in exchange for the first overall pick.
The fact Carolina turned down the offer from Los Angeles especially goes to show just how much the Panthers value Burns. That only adds to the pressure of re-signing the Florida State product, because losing Burns (via trade or free agency), would be a colossal failure on the front office’s end after refusing blockbuster trade offers.
Carolina acquired the first overall pick from Chicago to draft Alabama quarterback Bryce Young. With Tom Brady now retired, the NFC South is wide-open and there for the taking. Of course, Carolina’s chances of winning it decrease considerably if Burns ends up missing considerable time.
Burns is coming off a career year in which he tallied 12.5 sacks and three pass defenses.
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