Ravens splurging on Brian Burns to replace Jadeveon Clowney is risky, unrealistic

The Ravens shouldn't pursue this big fish free agent

Indianapolis Colts v Carolina Panthers
Indianapolis Colts v Carolina Panthers / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

The Baltimore Ravens will see their top three sack producers from the 2023 season in defensive tackle Justin Madubuike, Jadeveon Clowney, and Kyle Van Noy all hit free agency at the same time. With so much production available, the idea of spending on a big-name replacement like Brian Burns might appeal to this front office.

While Burns will likely be back with the Carolina Panthers for 2024, the fact he is even this close to hitting unrestricted free agency is stunning. Contenders will be all over him, even though his asking price is absurd.

PFF has Burns, ranked as the second-best edge rusher in the class behind Jacksonville's Josh Allen, marked as a fit with the Ravens, hyping up his fit alongside former first-round pick Odafe Oweh. Clowney, meanwhile, was projected to either join the Buffalo Bills or link up with former Ravens DL coach Anthony Weaver on the Miami Dolphins.

Burns might be a young player hitting his stride, but the price it would take to acquire him coupled with the fact it seems almost impossible to retain both him and Clowney in the same offseason make it difficult to envision a scenario where Baltimore meets his very high asking price.

The Baltimore Ravens shouldn't sign Brian Burns in free agency

The Panthers will likely hit Burns, who recorded eight sacks despite having the fewest pass-rush snaps of his career, with the franchise tag. However, Burns has been seeking a deal worth close to $30 million per season, which would make him the second-highest-paid defensive end in the game.

The money that could be hypothetically allocated to Burns in this situation could be used to retain some of their best names, including Madubuike, while keeping Clowney and still having some wiggle room to play around with. Burns is tremendous, but that deal could be ruinous for the Ravens.

Paying that type of money for production that isn't radically different from what Clowney and Oweh put up last year when there are so many other holes on the roster would be a risky investment. Oweh might be ready to break out, and Clowney set a new career-best mark in pressures and sacks. Why give Burns a contract surpassed at his position by only Nick Bosa?

The Clowney-Oweh partnership with one more solid rotational name thrown into the mix could be a terrifying combination for opposing offensive lines, provided the former Penn State star lives up to the hype. Burns and his enormous price tag will make someone very happy, but not the Ravens.