NFL insider reveals potential cost for Los Angeles Rams to make Brian Burns trade

Credit: Morgan Tencza-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams general manager Les Snead has been after Carolina Panthers edge rusher Brian Burns for years, frequently connected to the Pro Bowl pass rusher in NFL trade rumors. While Carolina prevented him from hitting NFL free agency, it still might have to trade him this offseason.

Burns, entering his age-26 season, is a two-time Pro Bowl selection. taken with the 16th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Florida State alum has emerged as one of the best pass rushers in the NFC. He has also been squarely on the Rams’ radar for a while.

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Ahead of the 2022 NFL trade deadline, Los Angeles reportedly offered Carolina first-round picks in 2024 and 2025 along with a 2025 second-round pick in exchange for Burns. While the offer was well-regarded around the league, especially among speculation the Rams’ Super Bowl window was closing, Carolina declined the proposal.

  • Brian Burns stats (career): 95 quarterback hits, 59 tackles for loss, 46 sacks in 80 games

The Panthers continued to receive inquiries on Burns over the next year-plus, but never seriously engaged in trade discussions. While Carolina has wanted to keep its homegrown talent long-term, the two sides have never come close to a long-term deal. Now, after franchise-tagging him, trade rumors have surfaced once again with a growing belief he could be dealt.

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According to Josina Anderson of CBS Sports, NFL sources believe “fair” compensation for the Rams in exchange for Burns without the assurances of a contract extension is a third-round pick. The selection would likely come from the 2024 NFL Draft.

Carolina put itself into a situation with very little leverage. Burns won’t become a free agent, but he is owed a $24.007 million salary this upcoming season that is fully guaranteed. The Panthers could go through this process with him again in 2025, but using the franchise tag would come with a 120 percent increase in guaranteed salary next year.

Los Angeles certainly dodged a bullet with Carolina rejecting their offer in 2024. Nearly two years later, Snead and the Rams’ front office maintain that same level of interest. The only difference is this time around, the club will have to give up significantly less to acquire him.

If the Rams were to acquire Burns, they would have until the contract extension deadline for franchise-tagged players in July to reach an agreement. Otherwise, they would have to go through the same process as the Panthers next year.