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Dan Morgan: I think we’d use franchise tag on Brian Burns

The Panthers didn’t sign edge rusher Brian Burns to a long-term contract last year and they may not get one done with him this year, but Burns is unlikely to be moving on as a free agent.

Burns’ status was one of the lead topics at General Manager Dan Morgan’s press conference from the Scouting Combine on Tuesday and Morgan said that he will be speaking with Burns’ representatives this week.

“We’ll have a little more clarity on the situation after that, but we’re working on it,” Morgan said, via the team’s website. “I think right now, all options are on the table. You know, what those options are, we’ll find out. I’ll have a little more clarity on that after I meet with the agent.”

If that clarity doesn’t lead to a deal by next Tuesday’s deadline to use the franchise tag, Morgan said “think we would use it” to ensure that they can continue talking to Burns through mid-July. The tag would carry a one-year salary of $24.007 million if Burns plays out the year on it, but there’s a lot of steps for all involved to take before we’ll know if that’s in the cards.