Brian Burns Tagged, Constricts Los Angeles Rams Chances Of Landing Edge Rusher

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The Carolina Panthers officially exercised their franchise tag option on twice Pro Bowler edge rusher Brian Burns on Tuesday morning. This doesn’t slam the door on the chance of the Los Angeles Rams landing Burns, but it does keep the Panthers solidly in the driver’s seat in the event of a tag-and-trade situation.

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Burns is set to make $24 million in fully guaranteed salary next season under the non-exclusive franchise tag. Burns has until July 15th to negotiate a contract before he has to sign the franchise tender. He can’t be traded until he signs the tender. If traded the contract can be renegotiated.

Under the non-exclusive tag, Burns can negotiate with other teams. If he signs an offer sheet with another team, the Panthers would have the right to match that offer or receive two first-round draft picks as compensation if they don’t.

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The Los Angeles Rams Big Play For Brian Burns

The Rams have already offered up two first-round picks and were denied. So the trade scenario puts Carolina even more in control. How much would they want? Only they know, but two first-round draft picks are the logical starting point. At what point does a Burns trade become too rich for the Rams?

Trading for Burns is the only way to ensure that they don’t use most of their cap surplus (Est. $40 mil) on one player. That trade again looks like two first-rounders plus MORE.

Otherwise, they need to make an offer large enough that it would price the Panthers out. Not impossible, they currently have about $12 million in cap space. If achieved it would amount to a ‘Burns for two first-round picks trade.’

I imagine that the Rams would have to offer Burns a contract worth at least $28 million per year, considering they are already willing to pay $24 million. That leaves just $12 million for another large draft class and any free-agent acquisitions.

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