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Panthers place franchise tag on Brian Burns

Brian Burns

CHARLOTTE — The Panthers took a step Tuesday to make sure a key part of their defense remained in place.

The team placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on outside linebacker Brian Burns.

The 25-year-old Burns is coming off an 8.0-sack season. That output was obviously complicated by the fact he never got to rush with a lead in the fourth quarter, keeping him out of the kind of situations he can take advantage of with his speed and explosiveness. Both the Panthers' wins last year came on walk-off field goals, so opponents never had to try to pass to catch up.

Brian Burns

The 2019 first-rounder has 46.0 sacks in five seasons and has been to two Pro Bowls. He's one of just five players in the league to record 7.0 or more sacks in each of the last five seasons.

The only player in franchise history with more sacks in their first five seasons was Julius Peppers (52.5 from 2002-06).

The Panthers haven't used the franchise tag since 2021, when they put it on right tackle Taylor Moton and eventually signed him to a long-term deal that summer.

Brian Burns