Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kawann Short is entering the final year of his rookie contract. The Panthers presumably would like to re-sign a 27-year-old interior pass-rusher who produced 11.0 sacks in 2015. The problem is time is running out.
As Joseph Person for the Charlotte Observer notes, Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman doesn’t like to negotiate contracts once the regular season gets underway. In Carolina’s case, that would be Thursday already, leaving previous little time for a deal to get done. Yet Short doesn’t sound overly concerned that the clock is ticking on a multi-year extension, telling Person he’s still hopeful it will happen.
“That’s just who I am. I don’t seek for the attention. I don’t need to make a big impression about it,” Short said this week. “Everybody knows it takes them upstairs and my representation to get it done. It’s not like I can be on social media just bashing the team that I’m playing for.
Short may be hopeful, but he also realizes there’s not much he can do about it. And if the two sides are unable to sign a new deal, surely another team will be happy to see a disruptive lineman on the market when free agency opens next March.
As Person points out, Gettleman has been down to the wire with one of his stars before — just last year with linebacker Luke Kuechly. Of course, without a deal in place, anything could happen next offseason, as it did with All-pro cornerback Josh Norman, who bolted for greener pastures in free agency.
One thing most everybody can agree on is Gettleman’s self-imposed “deadline” does a lot more harm than good. If Short is a player the Panthers are truly committed to keeping, perhaps the GM should not allow talks to go completely dormant after the regular season kicks off.