Pair of Panthers offseason trades projected to have big impact in 2024

A pair of Carolina Panthers swaps could end up leaving some pretty noticeable imprints on the 2024 season. content editor Tom Blair recently ranked the top 10 traded players who he believes will have the biggest impact on the upcoming campaign. Coming in at No. 4 is pass rusher Brian Burns, whom the Panthers shipped off to the New York Giants back on March 11.

Blair writes:

I thought about slotting Burns at the top of this list, and maybe I should have. Of everyone in my top 10, he seems like the safest lock to play like a star for his new team in 2024. Unlike Allen and Diggs, the 26-year-old is still squarely in his prime, and unlike Jeudy, he’s a proven entity with a high floor. Burns has had a double-digit pressure rate every year of his career, per Next Gen Stats, and he should team with Kayvon Thibodeaux to boost a defense that finished 30th in pressure rate last season. The problem is, I could see Burns wrecking opponents this season and the Giants still stumbling because of offensive limitations. So, perhaps unfairly, he lands here, capped, in a way, by the lingering uncertainty around what Daniel Jones will bring to the table.

Well, that was kinda the same story for Burns in Carolina. Despite being selected as a two-time Pro Bowl starter, the former 16th overall pick was a tad overlooked amongst the offensive mess the organization produced over his five pro seasons.

A bit further down Blair’s list at No. 9 sits wideout Diontae Johnson, whom the Panthers acquired from the Pittsburgh Steelers a day after trading Burns to New York:

Trading for Johnson was a reasonable dice roll for the Panthers, who need as much help as they can get for second-year quarterback Bryce Young. If the veteran flames out in the final year of his contract, then Carolina can move on (and I’ll regret not using this spot on an offensive lineman like Morgan Moses or Ryan Bates). Perhaps, though, the Panthers can get more out of Johnson, whose unfortunate penchant for being in drama-tinged headlines shouldn’t obscure the respectable per-catch mark (14.1) he managed to put up while working with Kenny Pickett, Mason Rudolph and Mitchell Trubisky. In the best-case scenario, Johnson revitalizes his own prospects while playing a role in saving the career of a potential franchise quarterback.

Johnson could very well being that potential franchise quarterback’s go-to option in 2024. A Pro Bowler in his own right, the 27-year-old pass catcher has amassed at least 87 targets in each of his five NFL campaigns.

As Blair notes, Johnson is entering the final year of his contract—so the Panthers could see a timely “prove-it” performance from one of their newest receivers.

Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire