Giants Make Blockbuster Trade for Star Defender

Out go Saquon Barkley and Xavier McKinney and in comes Brian Burns one of the leagues top edge rushers joining the New York Giants
Dec 31, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Carolina Panthers offensive linebacker Brian Burns (0)
Dec 31, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Carolina Panthers offensive linebacker Brian Burns (0) / Morgan Tencza-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have made a massive trade acquiring star edge rusher Brian Burns from the Carolina Panthers. In exchange, the Giants will send the Panthers a second-round pick and a fifth-round pick.

The Giants desperately needed an edge rusher as they’ve lacked a true dominant pass rusher since losing Jason Pierre-Paul. The team tried to fill the hole with draft picks like Azeez Ojulari and Kayvon Thibodeuax however Ojulari’s injury history hampered the team.

Burns recorded an 8-sack season in 2023 finishing his Panthers career with 46.5 sacks. The move for Burns resulted in a five-year extension worth $150 million. The deal makes Burns the second-highest-paid defensive end in the NFL.

This is by far the biggest swing of Joe Schoen’s tenure signaling that the Giants will truly attempt to make a playoff push in 2024. The Giants biggest needs now stand in the secondary as the team will lose top cornerback Adoree Jackson after losing Xavier McKinney to the Packers.

The addition of Brian Burns will be massive for Kayvon Thibodeaux who’s coming off of a career year and now gets to rush opposite of one of the league’s best. Thibodeaux notched a career high 11.5 sacks in 2023 and is a player Joe Schoen desperately needs to pan out.

The start of free agency has been hectic for the Giants front office. The team has lost its two biggest playmakers in Xavier McKinney and Saquon Barkley while adding Jon Runyan Jr, Devin Singletary, and Brian Burns. The Giants will have one of the league's most fearsome front sevens with Brian Burns, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Dexter Lawrence, Bobby Okereke, Micah McFadden, and Azeez Ojulari.

Shane Bowen will have plenty of weapons in Giants defenders

The new defensive coordinator Shane Bowen will have a surplus of weapons at his disposal heading into 2024. The Giants defense relied heavily on exotic blitzes under Wink Martindale to generate pressure due to the team's lack of pass rushers. Shane Bowen now adds Brian Burns to Dexter Lawrence and Brian Burns who combined for 16 sacks in 2023. The team will now likely add an interior defensive lineman on day two of the NFL Draft with T'vondre Sweat, Kris Jenkins, and Darius Robinson among the names to watch.

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