The Carolina Panthers locked up the inside of their defense for another year by using their franchise tag on defensive tackle, Kawann Short. This announcement came mere minutes after the Arizona Cardinals announced that they were using their franchise tag on defensive end, Chandler Jones. With the deadline coming up on Wednesday, the free agency picture is beginning to take shape.
Carolina Panthers Use Franchise Tag on Kawann Short
By giving Kawann Short the franchise tag, the Carolina Panthers are basically signing him to a one year deal worth $13.5 million dollars. Short was Pro Football Focus’ third best interior defender last season, earning a 87.7 grade, trailing only Calais Campbell and PFF’s defensive player of the year, Aaron Donald.
Short has registered 17 sacks over the last two seasons, including six in 2016. The 28 year old defensive tackle was highly revered by teams like the Oakland Raiders that desperately need interior pressure, but they’ll have to wait at least one more season.
Carolina is set to lose a ton of talent on defense this off-season, as Short wasn’t the only player hitting free agency. Defensive ends Mario Addison and Charles Johnson are also set to hit the open market. By retaining the services of Kawann Short, the team won’t have as many defensive needs heading into free agency.
Even with the hefty franchise tag, the Carolina Panthers will still have plenty of cap space. OverTheCap.com reports that after the tag, the Panthers will still have around $37 million dollars in space. Hopefully this means that general manager Dave Gettleman and head coach Ron Rivera can meet with Short, giving him a longer extension.
Around The League
With Kawann Short staying put for at least one more year, the market value for players like Brandon Williams, Calais Campbell, and Dontari Poe just skyrocketed. The Kansas City Chiefs are attempting to keep both Eric Berry and Poe, but with the news that Short won’t be available, Poe will likely hit the market.