Panthers franchise tag LB Brian Burns

CHARLOTTE — The Carolina Panthers have put a franchise tag on outside linebacker Brian Burns, the team announced.

The team said Tuesday they placed the non-exclusive one-year tag on Burns ahead of the league deadline. It prevents the team captain from becoming an unrestricted free agent, ensuring a key part of their defense stays this season.

The non-exclusive tag means Burns can sign an offer with any team, but the Panthers have the right to match that offer.

Burns is one of five players in the NFL with seven or more sacks in each of the last five seasons, panthers.com reports.

According to NFL.com, the two-time Pro Bowler’s tag will cost more than $24 million.

Other moves

The Athletic’s Joe Person reported Tuesday that the Panthers are planning to release tight end Hayden Hurst, according to sources. He was signed a year ago to a three-year deal.

The Panthers are expected to release Hurst before March 16, which is when he would have gotten a roster bonus, Person reports.

Sources told ESPN on Monday that cornerback Donte Jackson will either be traded or released to free up more cap space.

Jackson would also be released before March 16.

The Panthers will clear $52,000 in cap space by cutting Hurst and at least $5.9 million without Jackson, reports say.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

(WATCH BELOW: Carolina Panthers hiking ticket prices again)

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