1 Perfect Trade Target For The Denver Broncos After Week 2

Denver Broncos
NFL Analysis Network

Through the first two weeks of the 2023 NFL season, it’s blatantly obvious that the Denver Broncos have issues.

Following a disappointing 5-12 campaign in 2022, the Broncos have gotten off to an 0-2 start this season, and it’s looking like their playoff drought is going to continue.

But that does not mean Denver should just mail it in.

The Broncos have until the Oct. 31 trade deadline to bring in some reinforcements to bolster their roster, and while they have needs in multiple areas, one of their biggest holes is their lack of a pass rush.

Over the first two weeks, Denver has amassed a grand total of four sacks, and while that’s not quite the worst in the league, it’s still concerning, especially considering the Broncos ranked just 23rd in the NFL with 36 sacks last season.

Luckily for Denver, there could be a very impressive edge rusher available over the next several weeks: Brian Burns of the Carolina Panthers.

Burns and the Panthers failed to agree on a long-term extension before the season kicked off, meaning that he is playing out the final year of his contract. Burns is seeking $26-28 million annually, a price Carolina is evidently not willing to pay.

Now, the catch is that Burns is a free agent at the end of this season, so the Broncos could just wait and attempt to sign him in the spring. However, there would be a lot of competition for his services, and Denver may still want to see if it can salvage anything out of the 2023 campaign.

Burns has vaulted himself into the discussion for one of the top edge rushers in the league. Through the first two games of this season, he has already logged nine tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble.

The 25-year-old, who played his collegiate football at Florida State, was selected by the Panthers with the 16th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft.

After an impressive rookie year in which Burns totaled 25 tackles and 7.5 sacks, he took a big step forward in 2020, finishing with 58 tackles, nine sacks and three forced fumbles. Burns then earned himself back-to-back trips to the Pro Bowl in 2021 and 2022, tallying 50 stops and nine sacks in the former season and rattling off 63 tackles and 12.5 sacks in his best campaign to date last year.

Of course, Burns would be costly. Not just in terms of monetary value, but also with regard to the amount of draft capital that would likely be required for a team to pry him away from Carolina.

Now, the Panthers may become more willing to accept a lesser offer the closer we get to the trade deadline. After all, they are already 0-2, and they are showing no signs of competing, even in the weak NFC South. Considering Carolina is likely to lose Burns in free agency anyway, it may just settle for the best available deal to recoup some value.

If the Broncos want to bolster their pass rush between now and the end of October, Carolina would be a good place to look.

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