Ex-Panthers GM’s legacy forever tied to unremarkable trade return for Brian Burns: Carolina Panthers fit to be tied, after Scott Fitterer left them in a Fix(Mode)

Ex-Panthers GM’s legacy forever tied to unremarkable trade return for Brian Burns
from Michael Gallagher, with YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com

Many NFL general managers presumably have a what-could-have-been moment throughout their careers — a trade acquisition or free-agent signing that was on the 1-yard line but never punched into the end zone.

The trade proposal turned down from the Los Angeles Rams in 2022 for edge-rusher Brian Burns is likely former Carolina Panthers GM Scott Fitterer’s.

That deal that was nixed by Fitterer would have sent the Panthers a second-round pick in 2023 plus first-rounders in 2024 and 2025 in exchange for Burns.

Carolina eventually settled for significantly less, agreeing to send Burns to the New York Giants on Monday in exchange for a second-round pick in 2024 (39th overall) and a fifth-round pick in 2025, per SI.com’s Albert Breer.

In hindsight, turning down the Rams’ proposal seems like a move that has set the Panthers franchise back a few years.

The second-round pick L.A. offered was the 36th overall selection in 2023, which was used to draft guard Steve Avila (offensive line is an area of need for Carolina).

Avila started all 17 games for the Rams this past season, allowing just two sacks on 1,205 offensive snaps en route to being named to the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie Team.

The 2024 first-rounder L.A. offered is the 19th overall pick in next month’s draft, which could have been used to get a No. 1 receiver for quarterback Bryce Young.

Wide receiver is arguably the team’s biggest area of need in a year where it has no first-round pick thanks to Fitterer’s ill-fated trade last offseason to acquire Young and not enough cap space to entice a big-name free agent to come to Carolina.

The #Panthers have traded Christian McCaffrey, DJ Moore, and Brian Burns — all former first-round picks — while they were all 26 years old or younger. pic.twitter.com/4HSja0UPo4

— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) March 11, 2024
During his three-year run as Panthers GM, Fitterer traded star running back Christian McCaffrey, star receiver D.J. Moore and the No. 1 overall pick in 2024 (and the right to draft USC quarterback Caleb Williams).

In addition, this includes a second-rounder in 2023 and next year’s first-round pick for Young, third- and fourth-round picks in 2023, a pair of fifth-round picks and a year-and-a-half of Burns.

Carolina went 7-19 after Fitterer turned down the Rams’ trade proposal and began gutting the team. He was fired after the 2023 season.

Now, the Panthers are out one of the premier edge-rushers in the NFL, they still don’t have a first-round pick in next month’s draft and they still need to find Young a top-tier receiver.

Given the mess the Panthers find themselves in, it’ll be difficult for Fitterer to land another GM job anytime soon.