The Baltimore Ravens are boasting a winning 3-2 record entering Week 6 and their international matchup against the Tennessee Titans (2-3) in London.
We're still three weeks separated from the trade deadline, which is set for Halloween, Oct. 31st, but whispers are starting to grow louder with each passing day and analysts have already started to throw their predictions into the realm of possible outcomes.
That was the case with Gordon McGuinness of Pro Football Focus, who wrote a column on Wednesday, Oct. 11 in which he targeted a player from the Carolina Panthers that Baltimore should trade for before the end of October.
"If a trade is coming, it should be for an edge defender," headlined McGuinness. With that already settled, he reasoned his thought as follows, targeting one player in particular: Panthers edge rusher Brian Burns.
"If the Ravens do, edge defender feels like a position they would target, and Brian Burns could be a costly but worthwhile swing-for-the-fences move. Burns is 25 and in the final year of his contract, so Baltimore would likely have to be willing to part with its first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft and sign Burns to a top-of-market deal. That’s a lot, but the Ravens have been unable to draft a top-tier edge defender and Burns is coming off a season where he generated 68 total pressures. Through five games this year, he has registered 13 — five of which were sacks."- Gordon McGuinness, Pro Football Focus
According to McGuinness, the Ravens should trade for Burns even if though he acknowledges such a trade "could be costly." The analyst, however, things that the trade could be a "worthwhile swing-for-the-fences move."
As McGuinness sees it, the fact that Burns is on an expiring deal could make things easier for Baltimore to complete the trade and for Carolina to move its edge rusher knowing they might lose him next offseason anyway.
The price to pay, McGuinness predicts, could be up to a first-round pick in the 2024 draft. That, of course, should be followed by a contract extension with the Ravens so Baltimore doesn't lose him next February, which would be a waste of assets unless they end up winning the Super Bowl this season.
Considering the problems Baltimore has had of late to find gems at the outside linebacker position, highlighted by drafting the oft-injured David Ojabo and the lack of depth in the room outside of veterans keeping it above water, this trade makes a lot of sense.
Burns is coming off a season where he generated 68 total pressures, according to PFF, while appearing in 16 games. Through five games this year, he has registered 13 racking up four sacks and one forced fumble after sacking opposing quarterbacks 12.5 times in 2022.