Using the franchise tag on a key defensive player didn't turn out to be nearly as disruptive for the Panthers this time around.
Carolina announced Monday it has agreed to a five-year deal with Kawann Short, and multiple reports said the contract is worth up to $80 million. CBS Sports saidShort will collect half of that total, a whopping $40 million, over the first two years of the deal. If he had played 2017 under the franchise tag, he would have made $13.1 million this season.
The agreement comes almost a year to the day after the Panthers rescinded the franchise tag they had placed on star cornerback Josh Norman, making him a free agent. Norman went on to sign a five-year, $75 million deal with the Redskins days later.
In Short's case, both parties moved quickly to make sure a repeat wasn't in order, finalizing the long-term deal about six weeks after the defensive tackle was tagged.
“KK has been very important to what we’ve been able to accomplish on defense,” Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman said in a release. “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.”
Short, who turned 28 in February, has collected 17 sacks over the past two seasons. Eleven came in 2015 when he helped lead the Panthers to the Super Bowl while also earning his first Pro Bowl selection.