While the Phillies stole the spotlight this weekend, the Eagles sat quietly on their bye week…for the most part. A report surfaced during the bye stating that the Birds had called the Panthers with regards to young pass-rusher, Brian Burns. The price is inevitably going to be steep, but should Howie Roseman continue his streak of aggression?
Brian Burns is only 24-years-old, and of course, has a history with newly-acquired Hasson Reddick. He’s a similarly productive pass-rusher, having amassed 29.5 sacks through 4 NFL seasons. In 2021, he was a pro-bowler after notching 9 sacks, 18 QB hits, and 13 TFL.
He has four sacks so far this year but is now part of a Carolina squad that could very well be subject to a complete rebuild, making him one of their most valuable assets. He’s contracted through 2023, so the Eagles would have some theoretical leverage to trade for him and work out a long-term deal if needed, but is that the right move?
Do the Eagles need Brian Burns?
The picture at pass-rusher is bleak. Hasson Reddick was a fantastic signing and his versatility will negate the lack of depth for the most part. However, Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham are in the twilights of their careers and outside of Josh Sweat, there is no real significant developmental depth.
Burns would come in and immediately add a top-tier pass-rusher. But with Reddick marauding the trenches and the monstrous Jordan Davis and Javon Hargrave inside, is there a real need to pay substantial money, and give up significant assets for a player of that caliber?
There are two ways to look at this. Howie Roseman has shown a tendency to trade for young talent (CC A.J. Brown) and pay them big money. This is because, in part, they’re a proven commodity and the bust potential is far lower than the spending of a draft pick, as we all know. But it also gives a much firmer indication of character and personality, traits that have become essential in the talent evaluation process.
However, the cost to acquire Brian Burns is going to be very high. The Eagles will potentially have a top-3 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft so long as the Saints continue to fall apart at the seams along with a bevy of other picks. With a Jalen Hurts extension likely on the horizon and the potential to land a top-tier defensive prospect who could well be within the same ability range of Kayvon Thibodeaux, it may make sense for Howie to stand pat…at least this time.
Sure, the Eagles need pass-rushing help, but their ability to rush the passer is driven largely by a dominant secondary. Darius Slay and James Bradberry have been lockdown corners this season and the trade for Chauncey Gardner-Johnson has proven to be game-changing. With more time for opposing QB’s to find the open man, it gives the pass-rush more time to get home. So, theoretically, you can get away with skimping up front so long as the back end can hold up…and if skimping means allowing Jordan Davis to grow alongside a top-5 pick next year, I’m all for it.
While Brian Burns would be a phenomenal acquisition, there’s no need for an undefeated team to blow their war chest just yet.
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