Is the Brian Burns Trade the Giants’ Best Off-season Move?


Is the Brian Burns Trade the Giants’ Best Off-season Move?

The Giants’ acquisition of outside linebacker Brian Burns is widely regarded as the best off-season move made by the team this off-season, notes Mike Sando of The Athletic.

The New York Giants made significant noise on the first day of free agency two months ago. While the day started grim by losing free agents Saquon Barkley and Xavier McKinney, the Giants made one move that stole headlines that wasn’t a free agent acquisition.


That move, which just so happens to be one of the favorites of The Athletic’s Mike Sando (not to mention growing scores of Giants fans), is the acquisition of edge rusher Brian Burns via trade with the Carolina Panthers.


The Giants sent the 39th pick and a 2025 fifth-round pick to Carolina (the two teams also swapped fifth-round picks in the 2024 draft). And just like that, the Giants not only vastly improved their pass-rushing unit but also managed to acquire Burns for far less than the two first-round picks the Los Angeles Rams reportedly offered for Burns the previous year.


The Giants also agreed to extend Burns to a five-year, $141 million deal with $87.5 million guaranteed. His cap hit this season is $15.5 million, the third-highest on the team behind quarterback Daniel Jones and left tackle Andrew Thomas.


Burns joins a young Giants team looking to turn around from their abysmal 2023 campaign in which they went 6-11 and in which their pass rush, other than for Kayvon Thibodeaux’s 11.5 sacks, was middle of the pack.


The Giants hope that Burns and Thibodeaux, along with interior defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence (4.5 sacks and 21 quarterback hits), will produce a more consistent pass rush with their front seven this coming season.


The change of scenery could be just what the doctor ordered for Burns, who was part of a horrid Panthers roster last year that finished 2-15. He ended the season with eight sacks and 18 quarterback hits, being robbed on numerous occasions of rushing the passer due to the Panthers being down by large gaps, allowing opponents to chew out the clock by running the football.


Burns’ best season came in 2022, where he had 12.5 sacks and 22 quarterback hits, and 30 pressures. With the contract he received from the Giants, Burns is now the third-highest-paid edge rusher in the league, behind Nick Bosa (49ers) and Josh Allen (Jaguars).


Burns is considered a star, but now that he’s being paid higher than T.J. Watt (Steelers) and Myles Garrett (Browns), he’ll need to produce like one and ideally start producing consistent double-digit sack seasons.


While sacks aren’t everything, the Giants are paying Burns to help disrupt the opposing quarterbacks on their schedule and make life easier for the defense’s back end in their quest for more game-changing plays.

Learn More →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *