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Could the Steelers Trade For Brian Burns, Jaycee Horn?

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Brian Burns

The Carolina Panthers are in disarray after the firing of Matt Rhule as their head coach. There is no doubt that they will look to potentially move on from some players. However, will it be a full-on fire sale? Could young players such as Brian Burns, Jaycee Horn, and Derrick Brown be on the move? Or will it be restricted to players such as Christian McCaffrey and Robbie Anderson?

That is the golden question as it stands. But the Steelers had an interest in all three of those players during their respective draft years. Horn, the most recent pick out of the 2021 NFL Draft, met with Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin during that cycle. Right out of the gate, it feels like Horn would be the guy the Steelers would want to get the most. A young, potential top cornerback in the NFL is at a premium for a defense like Pittsburgh’s.

The biggest obstacle in that equation is both cost and a likely unwillingness from Scott Fitterer and the Panthers to deal Horn. Horn looks like a superstar and is only 22 years old. This is not a player that Carolina should look to trade, but rather build around him. The Steelers would have to part with their first-round pick at least in order to get Horn, and with their current positioning, that just may not be attractive. For the Panthers, it makes no sense to move him, but if they are willing to do it, the Steelers should throw their hat into the ring.

Meanwhile, Brian Burns reportedly has been sought after by multiple teams. This is more than just adding that could give the Steelers a lethal trio at the outside linebacker position. Burns is a 24-year-old productive pass rusher that is a proven commodity. Again, with his age, the Steelers should be interested in Burns to pair with T.J. Watt. It feels like he too would cost a first-round pick, but he is tailor-made to play in the Steelers’ scheme as a 3-4 outside linebacker. But it feels like something Carolina should not do under any circumstance. Trading Brian Burns does not make sense.

So, then, who is actually someone the Steelers could look to add? McCaffrey doesn’t make much sense given the capital they spent on Najee Harris and the recent rise of Jaylen Warren. Even though McCaffrey is fantastic, he has a hefty contract and is only getting older. Anderson could be someone the Steelers look at, but wide receiver may not be the position to look at for ad addition at this juncture.

The one player who makes more sense than any other player on the team is Taylor Moton. The standout tackle for the Panthers has started 63 games in his NFL career and developed into a stalwart along the Panthers line. Moton, 28, is in a comfortable enough age range to where the Steelers could have a new, veteran presence along the offensive line.

Not only that, but Moton’s flexibility at both right and left tackle are intriguing. Chuks Okorafor can also play both sides. Moton is owed over $24 million on the cap in 2023. That could dissuade them from jumping on the move. But if the Panthers are open to the trade, he is someone who fills a hole and could bolster a Steelers offensive line in need of the help.

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