We're now seven weeks into the 2023 NFL campaign, and it's quite obvious that the Arizona Cardinals roster needs a ton of work. General manager Monti Ossenfort is getting a mulligan for his first year on the job, but things have to improve. What better way to get the Redbirds pointed in the right direction than with an exciting and unexpected addition before the league's trade deadline arrives on Halloween.
Ossenfort could really get Cardinals fans stoked by orchestrating a deal for one of professional football's premier edge-rushers. Word has it that Brian Burns, a two-time Pro Bowler, could be acquired for the right price. The Carolina Panthers have yet to win a game this season, and there's some concern that the club could lose the outside linebacker when he becomes an unrestricted free agent next March.
The Arizona pass rush has performed reasonably well over the past seven Sundays. It's been primarily a joint effort, however, with contributions coming from several different individuals. Dennis Gardeck has led the charge with four quarterback takedowns, while Zaven Collins and Victor Dimukeje have been credited with 3.5 sacks each for the Cards defense.
Arizona Cardinals defense can use a true difference-maker at the edge-rusher position
While all of that is swell, what the Cardinals could really use is a player who can scare the living daylights out of opposing signal-callers. A sack specialist who offenses will have to gameplan around when the squad's defensive unit takes the field. That type of pass-rushing weapon doesn't exist in the desert at the present time, but Burns certainly could be that guy for coordinator Nick Rallis.
Burns was drafted by Carolina back in 2019 after a star-studded career at Florida State University. The 6 foot 5, 250 pounder's outstanding play at the school got him noticed in a big way, and the Panthers used the 16th-overall pick on the former Seminole. Not surprisingly, Burns has proceeded to live up to the hype.
During the six starts he has made this year, Burns has racked up 20 tackles, four sacks and nine quarterback hits for Carolina. Pro Bowl appearances have been waiting for the Florida native at the conclusion of each of the last two campaigns (2021-22), and the young star is only getting better. The "Red Sea" would love nothing more than to witness the 25-year-old Burns enter the prime of his pro career while donning a Cards uniform.
(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)