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The Panthers Have Made A Decision On Brian Burns

Carolina Panthers pass rusher Brian Burns.

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 21: Brian Burns (53) defensive end of Carolina during an NFL football game between the Washington Football Team and the Carolina Panthers on November 21, 2021, at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Carolina Panthers have officially picked up the fifth-year option for star defender Brian Burns. With this move, the Pro-Bowl pass rusher will earn a fully-guaranteed $16 million salary in 2023.

Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer says the organization hopes to extend Burns' contract in the future.

"We will pick up the fifth-year option and we have hopes of extending him after that," Fitterer said per NFL insider Albert Breer.

Burns has been a consistent pass rushing talent for the Panthers since he was drafted with the No. 16 pick in 2019. After a 7.5-sack rookie year, the 24-year-old defensive end logged 9.0 sacks in each of the past two seasons. In 2021, he notched 50 tackles, 18 QB hits, two forced fumbles and four passes defended en route to his first Pro-Bowl selection.

This coming season, Burns will earn a base salary of $2.34 million with a $4.3 million cap hit.