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GM Updates Potential Eagles Trade Target: It Would Take ‘Something Astronomical’


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GM Updates Potential Eagles Trade Target: It Would Take ‘Something Astronomical’

  • Updated Oct 21, 2022 at 1:10pm
Howie Roseman Getty

Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman may have to pay up if he wants to pry defensive end Brian Burns away from the Carolina Panthers, but it could be worth it.

One of the trade suggestions that would make the most sense for the Philadelphia Eagles at the trade deadline is a move for a defensive end like Brian Burns. The big question is whether the Carolina Panthers would be willing to part with the 24-year-old for a reasonable return.

Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer said today after dealing running back Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers that the asking price for a remaining core player would be high. "It would have to take something astronomical,” Fitterer said during his October 21 press conference.

This comes about a week and a half after Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported that the Panthers have fielded plenty of calls from teams interested in Burns, but that they have not shown a willingness to trade either player.

Brian Burns Likely To Be Best Pass Rusher Available

At 24 years old, Burns has already gone to the Pro Bowl and has come up just shy of double digit sacks the last two seasons. Burns has four sacks through six games this season, which puts him on pace for 11 sacks.

While the Broncos’ Bradley Chubb is on a better pace, he’s also not a pure defensive end, he’s older, and the Broncos aren’t guaranteed to sell. So if Eagles general manager Howie Roseman wants to make a splash for someone who’s still young, Burns is the best option.

The Eagles are currently thin at defensive end behind Brandon Graham and Josh Sweat, having lost Derek Barnett to a season-ending injury in Week 1.

The catch is that anyone who trades for Burns will have to pay him north of $16 million next season, according to Spotrac, and then negotiate an extension that is likely to make Burns one of the highest paid edge rushers in the league.

That may make an astronomical haul untenable. But a first round pick seems like a reasonable deal for both sides. In the Eagles case, it would probably need to be the later of their two first round picks to make sense – perhaps with a sweetener thrown in.

The Saints’ first rounder the Eagles hold currently projects to be fourth overall – too valuable to give up in a deal like this.

Essentially, the trade would be the Eagles paying a financial premium for a pass rusher in his prime, rather than gambling on getting a younger player on an entry level deal with the draft pick and risking missing on the pick.

Plus they’d get Burns on the field in midnight green this year to chase a Super Bowl, rather than waiting. It’s an interesting proposition, and it really comes down to how resolute the Panthers are about keeping Burns, as well as the Eagles point of view on the class of pass rushers in the next draft.

Deadline Pressure Could Impact Trade Demands

With a week and a half remaining before the November 1 deadline, Fitterer could certainly be bluffing to try to increase his leverage in a trade – especially when there are other intriguing pass rushing options that could be on the trade block.

The fact remains that the Panthers could be forced to place the franchise tag on Burns to keep him around past next season, and they need a rebuild and likely won’t be contending before 2024.

So this may be the best time to maximize their return on Burns, while also adding trade capital to go get their franchise quarterback. In the deal for McCaffrey, the Panthers received 2023 second, third, and fourth round picks along with a 2024 fifth rounder.

If they picked up the Eagles first round pick in a deal for Burns, they’d be sitting with the first and last pick in the first round based on current records, as well as the 33rd overall pick in their own second rounder and the 51st overall pick they just acquired.

As a result, even if their own pick ends up falling a bit, they’d almost certainly have the ammunition to try to move up to the top of the draft for any quarterback they covet.


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