We’re officially, finally, here. Today is the day the Carolina Panthers are kicking off the 2023 NFL Season against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. This is the end of our annual roster countdown. This year, for the first time, we can dedicate a day zero post to the player wearing the No. 0 jersey for the Panthers—outside linebacker Brian Burns.
Burns has been a controversial figure to the Panthers fan base for awhile, but never more so than this week. Some fans have always considered him to be overrated. Others think he is the best player on the Panthers roster. Some think he’s both. This week, his first contract extension negotiations have come to a boil. The current expectation is that Burns and the team will not come to an agreement before today’s game. However, Burns did travel with the team to Atlanta today and is expected to play.
In his four season career so far, Burns has played 64 games, starting 51 of them, and posted 196 tackles, 43 for loss, 38 sacks, one fumble recovery, one touchdown, seven forced fumbles, and eleven passes defensed.
Let’s go wild, in the comments, y’all and rehash this week’s debate on what Burns is worth. But let’s all consider that Burns has likely played most of his career out of position as a 4-3 defensive end. He’s finally getting a shot as a passing rushing outside linebacker in a 3-4 front. I think any conversation about his value today may well look very outdated by the end of the season.