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Giants Add Piece to Defense; Finalize Trade for DE Brian Burns

Giants get Burns
© Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have had a bit of a roller coaster on the first day of free agency. They saw Saquon Barkley depart for division-rival Philadelphia and they signed Devin Singletary after a breakout season with the Texans. Now they make arguably their biggest splash, pulling off a trade with the Carolina Panthers to add stand-out defensive end Brian Burns. In exchange for Burns, the Giants are sending a second-round and a fifth-round selection to the Panthers. The Giants also signed Burns to a 5-year deal worth up to $150 million, the deal also includes $87.5 million in guarantees.

For the Giants, they address a need to create pressure and disrupt opposing offenses, pairing Burns with Kayvon Thibodeaux and Dexter Lawrence. In his five seasons with the Panthers, Burns recorded 46 sacks and 246 total tackles while being selected to two Pro Bowls. The trio will create matchup nightmares for the Giants' opponents as they look to rebuild from a disappointing season in 2023.

Giants add Burns
© Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

For the Panthers, while the trade sends Burns to the Giants, they do acquire more draft capital as they look to build around their young quarterback Bryce Young. The Panthers are still looking for an identity and needed to recover some picks after trading up last year to acquire Young. Although the Panthers have lost Burns' services, it was a needed move for new coach Dave Canales and the new leadership of the Panthers.

Although the Giants part with two of their seven picks in the upcoming NFL Draft, they still have the picks needed to address other areas of need. They also still have some flexibility with the salary cap to bring in some key free agents. With multiple needs on both sides of the ball, the Giants staff still has work to do.

Overall grade: Giants - A. The Giants added a great piece to their defense in Brian Burns and locked him down for five years. In the trade, they gave up one of their two 2nd round selections and a fifth-round selection which still allows them to continue to build through the draft.

Overall grade: Panthers - B-. The trade was going to happen. After using the franchise tag for Burns, the team was unlikely to sign him and needed to get something in return. They add two selections that give them eight in the upcoming Draft as Coach Canales and General Manager Dan Morgan look to continue building their team. However, giving up a player of Burns' caliber does sting. 


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