No “Josh Norman” situation to see here.
The Carolina Panthers worked out a long-term deal with Pro-Bowl defensive tackle Kawann Short on Monday.
A source told the Observer that Short’s deal is for five years and $80.5 million, meaning he will be a Panther through 2021.
National NFL reporter Ian Rapoport tweeted that $35.5 million was guaranteed fully to Short at signing, and that he will get $40 million in the first two years alongside $45 million in total guarantees. The Observer was also able to confirm Short’s full guarantees through a source.
The contract means Short, 28, avoided the franchise tag previously offered by the Panthers, worth $13.1 million for one year.
“KK has been very important to what we’ve been able to accomplish on defense,” said general manager Dave Gettleman. “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.”
The situation is just about the opposite of last year’s franchise tag fiasco with former corner Norman, who wanted more money than the Panthers offered and did not sign the tag - Gettleman ended up rescinding it and Norman went to Washington.
Short said his situation would be different than Norman’s at the end of the 2016 season, when speculation arose about whether he’d be the next player to be offered the tag. As it turns out, he was right.
“I didn’t even think about that,” he said. “Because I knew if wasn’t going to turn out that way. I knew I was either going to sign the tender or get an extension. That whole Josh Norman thing, that’s still my guy and I still talk to him a lot. I just knew it wasn’t going to go that route because of the communication and what we needed to do on our end upstairs.”
Short said his team and the Panthers communicated “almost every day” as negotiations progressed.
“Just very respectful on both ends of the court,” he said. “I told them what I wanted and what I wanted to happen, and I didn’t want to go that route. And they understood...The whole thing was that the communication on both ends was outstanding.”
Carolina also announced that starting guard Andrew Norwell had signed his second-round restricted free agent tender for 2017 (worth $2.75 million), a steal for his talent. Backup center Tyler Larsen and backup punter Michael Palardy signed their exclusive-rights tenders on Monday as well.