July 12, 2024

The Atlanta Falcons have struggled in the initial 10 games of the season, currently holding a 4-6 record despite starting 2-0 for the first time since 2017. Despite significant investments in free agency, they have faced challenges, prompting questions about the missing elements in their lineup. While quarterback issues have captured fan attention, the need for an effective edge rusher is also a pressing concern.

As the Falcons are projected to have a substantial $50.7 million in cap space during the upcoming offseason, the contract situation of Brian Burns, an edge rusher for the Carolina Panthers, has become noteworthy. Burns, aged 25, has accumulated five sacks this season and showcased an impressive pass rush win rate of 27.3%, ranking third in the NFL if qualified.

Frank Reich amidst Panthers' struggles: Brian Burns deserves better

ESPN’s recent article on upcoming free agency classes highlights Burns’ exceptional edge rushing traits, emphasizing his speed, explosive power, and lower-body flexibility, which consistently disrupt the pocket. Despite his stellar performance, Burns, a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, has not signed a long-term extension with the Panthers.

In the 2022 season, Burns recorded 12.5 sacks and a total of 68 pressures, ranking ninth among edge rushers according to Pro Football Focus. With 42 sacks in 70 games since entering the league, he has emerged as one of the league’s premier young edge rushers. The article suggests that if Burns reaches free agency, he could be an ideal target for the Falcons, given their significant projected cap space, providing an opportunity to secure a deal with the talented edge rusher.

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