Grass is green, the sky is blue and the Carolina Panthers had a fifth-year option on Brian Burns to pick up.
As announced by the team on Friday afternoon, the 2023 campaign for the 24-year-old pass rusher has officially been triggered. Burns, the 16th overall selection of the 2019 NFL draft, will now enter the final two seasons of his rookie deal.
The Florida State University product has made his mark over the first three years of that contract—having recorded 25.5 sacks, 55 quarterback hits, 13 tackles for a loss and six forced fumbles. Those 25.5 sacks, in fact, is the second-highest total for any Panther over his first three seasons—with franchise legend and future Pro Football Hall of Famer Julius Peppers (30.0) atop the heap.
Burns, who tied his career-high in quarterback takedowns (9.0), was selected to his first Pro Bowl in 2021. And next for the budding star, as long as the arrow keep trending upwards, could be a long-term pact.