Striking a deal with one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL in Kawann Short has been a priority for Carolina and they have finally locked that in according to sources.
Short broke out and played a huge part in the 2015 15-1 season and Panthers Super Bowl run. He recorded 55 tackles and 11 sacks. He followed up in 2016 with 55 tackles and six sacks and has proven to be a consistent disruption for quarterbacks in the pocket and in the run game.
Short was asked at the end of the 2016 season about the franchise tag and if he was worried about a possible Josh Norman scenario and this was reported by Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer.
Short said in early January in a group interview I was part of: “Me and Josh are two totally different people. We walk two totally different sides of the street, at two totally different paces, in two totally different directions. Me and Josh are not the same.”
Gettleman had a statement following the signing.
“KK has been very important to what we’ve been able to accomplish on defense,” general manager Dave Gettleman said. “In 2013, when we drafted KK, I thought he was the best pass-rushing defensive tackle in the draft, and he’s been able to develop into one of the top young defensive tackles in the NFL. Off the field, KK is a top-notch young man and great representative of our team. I’m absolutely thrilled that we were able to get this deal done.”
"It's an amazing feeling. We had an understanding on both sides. Patience was the biggest thing. And here we are today," Short said of the signing.
With the recent drafting of Vernon Butler at defensive tackle with the first round pick in 2016, it will be interesting to see what shakes out beside Short in 2017. There's no guarantee of Star Lotulelei getting a long-term deal.
Written By Tripp Morgan
Article photo by Jesse Fraetis.