Julius Peppers hopes Panthers can keep Brian Burns from free agency

Somehow, the Carolina Panthers have yet to reach a long-term agreement with a homegrown, first-round pass rusher who has become one of the very best defenders in the game. Sound familiar?

Well, it should to Julius Peppers—who experienced a very similar story to what Brian Burns is going through now.

On Wednesday, the newly-named Pro Football Hall of Famer spoke with local reporters on a Zoom call following his eventful weekend in Las Vegas. When asked about Burns, who is slated to become a free agent this offseason, Peppers said he hopes the two-time Pro Bowler sticks around.

“I traded a couple of texts with him a couple of days ago, he was congratulating me on the Hall of Fame and stuff like that,” he replied, via Kassidy Hill of “And we’ve been meaning to link up at some point just about those off the field things…that’s where I come from. I come from, what’s going on off the field, who’s around you, what do you have going on? What’s your support looking like off the field? Because I think that translates to on the field type of stuff. So I’m there…more for that kind of stuff, like the mentor or big brother kind of stuff.

“But like, as far as his game, I think he’s one of the best. I think he’s one of the best. He has all the tools, he has all of the talent. I hope we’re able to keep him. I hope he stays. I hope we’d be able to keep him around for a long time.”

That wasn’t necessarily the case for Peppers, who bounced from Charlotte in 2010 when the team couldn’t meet his number. The Chicago Bears, instead, did—signing the Wilson, N.C. native to a six-year, $91.5 million pact.

As for Burns, the Panthers could—like they did with Peppers—use the franchise tag to keep their top sack getter around for another season. In the meantime, they’ll still have a chance to keep him around even longer.

But if they can’t, a bad bit of franchise history will repeat itself.

Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire