Giants might have interest in blockbuster trade for Panthers pass-rusher

Carolina Panthers offensive linebacker Brian Burns (0) (New York Giants)
Morgan Tencza-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are preparing for the start of free agency and could be in the market to make a blockbuster trade, as they did when they acquired TE Darren Waller last offseason. This time around, however, the Giants might make a move to address the defensive side of the ball. According to The Athletic’s Dan Duggan, the Giants may have some interest in trading for Carolina Panthers pass-rusher Brian Burns.

The Giants might be interested in a trade for Panthers EDGE Brian Burns

The Panthers slapped the franchise tag on Burns this offseason after failing to come to terms on a long-term extension. The 25-year-old pass rusher is viewed as one of the best young defensive talents in the NFL and he wants to be paid like it. However, the Panthers seem unwilling to cough up a deal that Burns is happy with.

Instead, the Panthers may pivot to trading Burns away. Duggan of The Athletic recently reported that the Panthers may be willing to deal Burns this offseason and that the Giants could be a potential landing spot:

“The Panthers are willing to deal franchise-tagged edge rusher Brian Burns,” Duggan reports. “[Giants general manager] [Joe] Schoen has a close relationship with new Panthers GM Dan Morgan, so a blockbuster deal for the 25-year-old Burns can’t be ruled out.”

Acquiring Burns would give the Giants an incredible one-two pass-rushing punch on the edge. He would combine with Kayvon Thibodeaux to create a dynamic and young pass-rushing duo that the defense could be built around for years to come.

In 2023, Burns finished the year with 50 combined tackles, 16 tackles for loss, eight sacks, and 40 total pressures. Across the past two seasons combined, Burns has racked up 20.5 sacks and 108 pressures.

How much would it cost to trade for Burns?

Trading for Burns would not be easy, however. The Panthers reportedly declined an offer for Burns at last year’s trade deadline. The Los Angeles Rams reportedly offered Carolina first-round picks in 2024 and 2025 along with a 2025 second-round pick for the star pass-rusher.

While the price tag has certainly been lowered since then, any trade for Burns would still cost a small fortune. The Giants would need to prepare to part ways with a significant amount of draft capital. Then they would need to prepare to pay Burns his asking price — which could come in north of $25 million per season. Burns was reportedly seeking a deal with an average annual salary of $30 million.

Adding Burns to the lineup would give the Giants a fierce defensive front and an exciting stable of pass-rushing talent. However, the price tag to acquire and secure Burns long-term might be too steep for the Giants to pay.

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