Brian Burns may have already played his last game with the Carolina Panthers. During last week's NFL Combine, the Panthers informed Burns that they are ending contract negotiations with the Pro Bowl edge rusher at this time, sources told Josina Anderson.

The Panthers can still place the franchise tag on Burns ahead of the 4 p.m. deadline on March 5 and restart talks on an extension. If Burns is tagged, Carolina has until July 15 to agree to terms on a new contract with Burns. There is also the likelihood that the Panthers tag and trade him, which would allow another franchise to swoop in and negotiate a long-term deal.

If Burns is tagged and no extension is reached by July 15, he will play out the 2024 season on a one-year deal worth $24 million.

Burns has been pushing for a contract extension since last year when he played under the fifth-year option in his rookie deal. The Panthers reportedly declined multiple trades involving first-round picks for Burns over the last two years, presumably in the hopes that they could extend him long-term. That now seems to be a long shot after the latest negotiations between the two sides stalled.

Burns continues to wait

A first-round pick by Carolina in the 2019 draft, Burns quickly established himself as a solid pass-rusher. He's played in 80 of a possible 83 games during his NFL career, averaging over nine sacks and just under 50 tackles a season. He earned back-to-back Pro Bowl nods in 2021 and 2022.

RECOMMENDED (Article Continues Below)

The Panthers are in the midst of a massive rebuild and are on their third head coach in as many seasons (fifth if you count interims). Keeping a player of Brian Burns' caliber through some lean years isn’t always something rebuilding franchises do, but the two-time Pro Bowler turns 26 in April and is likely just entering the prime of his career.

The Panthers have lost most of their leverage for either facilitating a trade or a contract extension for Burns. It will be interesting to see how the next four months play out, assuming Carolina places the franchise tag on their best player.