We all know what this man is capable of on the field. 11 sacks. 36 total tackles. 16 games started. So why is there no massive 6-year, $100 million contract in his lap right now? We know it's not because of the way he performs. But what could be at risk if we don't see him sign a contract extension prior to our Week 1 matchup at Mile-High?
We saw it in Seattle last year with all-pro safety Kam Chancellor. But would KK really do something like that? Kawann is already the projected starting #1 defensive tackle. So why are we looking to give him an extension? He was second in sacks for all defensive lineman in the league; trailing only Los Angeles' Aaron Donald. He was the top-ranked DT in the league via Pro Football Focus, and he was the Panthers pass rush which was a huge part in our run to Super Bowl 50.
In lieu of Malik Jackson and now Fletcher Cox’s new contracts, everything screams PAYDAY! Now we’re wondering if Short’s agent may being screaming HOLDOUT until he hears it!
What's at stake for our defense if the pro-bowl defensive tackle decides to hold out? Our defense can't be in too much trouble, right? With arguably the best linebacker core in the National Football League, an up-and-coming star in DE Kony Ealy, and a long list of high-profile hog mollies that includes 1st round picks Vernon Butler and Star Lotulelei, Pro Bowl free agent signing Paul Soliai,and very talented pass rusher Kyle Love, this is deep group of big men, even without KK.
What could the possible starting duos be Week 1 in the possibility of a holdout? One would obviously assume that it would be the two we've invested most in 1st round picks Vernon Butler and Star Lotulelei will be in that position come that time. But what if not? Ron Rivera may want to go another direction--a more experienced direction. We might expect to see Paul Soliai and Star Lotulelei starting in this scenario, as Riverboat Ron (or as he likes to be called 'Analytical Ron') may want to go in a more experienced direction.
With everything we've heard from Dave Gettleman over the past three years, Carolina is built to be a team bigger than any one player. Short's reporting to camp signaled he understands Gettleman's philosophy and style of contract negotiations and isn’t hoping to upset the applecart. With the addition of Paul Soliai through free agency, and Vernon Butler through the draft, it's clear Gettlemanforesaw the defensive tackle market burgeoning this offseason.
So where does this leave Short? Is he forced to simply wait and hope for Gettleman's generosity? According to BBR’s Bill Voth, Short’s agent has indicated the Fletcher Cox deal is the starting point of negotiations. Voth also referenced a source that noted Carolina’s figures fall below 15 million a year, significantly lower than the 17 million per Cox secured.
Sadly, it looks as if a holdout, in the end, would find a depth of support, leaving Kawann the one falling Short.
All in all, let's just hope that we don't have to worry about any of this, and hope he doesn't hold out and we can lock him up long term!
By Powell Haynes
Follow him on Twitter @powellhaynes12