The Jacksonville Jaguars made several attempts to bolster the pass rush in recent months. Just before the NFL trade deadline, they were one of a handful of teams that reached out to the Carolina Panthers to inquire about Brian Burns. However, the Panthers ultimately shunned all of them. It may be a bit early to tell but maybe it was the best outcome for Jacksonville.
A few days after the deadline, Adam Schefter reported the Jaguars were among the clubs that called about Burns. The others were the Atlanta Falcons, the Baltimore Ravens, the San Francisco 49ers, the San Francisco 49ers and the Chicago Bears. The Niners and Chicago didn't give up in their pursuit of a pass rusher and traded for Chase Young and Montez Sweat, respectively.
Burns, a first-round pick in the 2019 draft, has been in demand the last two years. Before the 2022 deadline, the Los Angeles Rams offered two first-round selections in exchange for the former Florida State Seminole but Carolina didn't budge. Thus, it's not particularly surprising to learn that they weren't interested in trading him this time around.
Having said that, the Panthers and Burns have been talking for months but haven't been able to reach a deal. Meanwhile, Montez Sweat and Rashan Gary have raised the bar, getting deals that pay them an annual average of $24 million or more. If they fail to get a deal done in the upcoming months, the franchise tag then becomes a real possibility.
Burns' production and the lack of a contract extension prompted teams to get on the phone with Carolina. He's appeared in 71 games with 58 starts and has logged 43 sacks and eight forced fumbles.
Trading for Brian Burns or Chase Young would've been hard for the Jaguars to pull off
While the Jacksonville Jaguars feel good about their current group of pass rushers, they still tried to add reinforcements. The issue is that they weren't able to find a favorable deal. You could argue that they should've been more aggressive, but doing so could've affected their ability to replenish the roster next offseason. Granted, it would've increased their odds of reaching the Super Bowl this year, but the cost would've likely outweighed the benefit.
Even after they were offered two first-round selections last year, the Panthers didn't cave to trading Brian Burns. To have a shot at acquiring him, the Jags would've needed to offer more, and that wasn't feasible. It's true that the 49ers got Chase Young for just a third but Jacksonville currently has three 2024 draft picks (second, third, and fourth), allocated to wide receiver Calvin Ridley after trading for him last year. They don't know which one they'll give to the Atlanta Falcons next year, so they couldn't offer any of them.
If that wasn't enough, the Jaguars need to pay outside linebacker Josh Allen. They'll probably give him a contract bigger than Rashan Gary's and Montez Sweat's. On top of that, they need to start locking up their 2021 draft class. Players such as safety Andre Cisco, offensive lineman Walker Little, and cornerback Tyson Campbell — all of them key contributors — will enter contract years in 2024. By trading for Sweat, Burns, or Chase Young, the Jags' ability to lock up their own players and add others in the draft would've been hindered.
Would it have been great to see the Jacksonville Jaguars land a pass rush at the trade deadline? Most definitely but they didn't find a favorable deal, so they stay put. In the end, it won't matter if they can make a deep playoff push with their current group.