The Carolina Panthers acquired four draft picks for Christian McCaffrey and two other picks for Robbie Anderson, but they rejected the most lucrative offer they received over the past week for pass-rushing standout Brian Burns.
One team offered two first-round picks to the Panthers for Burns, league sources told ESPN.
The Panthers told that team, however, that they are not trading Burns, who is in the middle of his fourth NFL season on a deal that pays him $2.34 million in base salary this year.
Burns, 24, is expected to land a massive extension this offseason, when the market on pass rushers is set to explode with more big deals coming for players like Burns, Nick Bosa, Bradley Chubb and others.
The Panthers also informed inquiring teams that they are not trading wide receiver DJ Moore, defensive lineman Derrick Brown and cornerback Jaycee Horn — all of whom Carolina view as foundational players.
With the NFL’s Nov. 1 trade deadline approaching, the Panthers will continue fielding calls, as they already have on linebacker Shaq Thompson and other players.
The Panthers already made a huge splash this past Thursday night with their blockbuster deal involving McCaffrey, who was traded to the San Francisco 49ers for second-, third- and fourth-round picks in 2023 and a fifth-round pick in 2024.
Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer insisted one day later that the decision to trade the star running back was not about tanking the rest of the season to get the top pick in next year’s draft, saying the organization’s “focus is still going out and competing every weekend. We expect to win.”
Carolina also traded Anderson this past Monday to the Arizona Cardinals for undisclosed draft pick compensation. Sources told ESPN the Panthers will receive a 2024 sixth-round pick and a 2025 seventh-rounder for the veteran wide receiver.