The Carolina Panthers won’t have a training camp holdout on their hands with defensive tackle Kawann Short when they get to Spartanburg next week.
A league source told the Observer Monday that Short will report to training camp at Wofford College while he continues to look for a new contract with the team.
Short, who’s entering the fourth year of his four-year rookie contract, sat out a handful of organized team activities, which were voluntary. He reported to the three-day mandatory minicamp in June, and missing it would have cost him $76,000.
Sitting out a day of training camp would cost a player $40,000 in fines.
Short is set to make just north of $1 million in 2016, and a league source said there has been no new movement on an extension. A team source told the Observer that Short and the Panthers had a “good conversation” at minicamp.
The belief is the Panthers are looking for a contract that will pay Short around $15 million a year. But that would fall $2 million short of the average salary per year for Fletcher Cox, who just inked a six-year extension worth $102.6 million with the Eagles last month.
In four years, Cox has amassed 22 sacks, including 9 1/2 last season for Philadelphia. Short, in three years, has totaled 16 sacks. Short’s 11 sacks in 2016 were the most in franchise history by a defensive tackle.
Carolina used its first-round pick in April’s draft to take defensive tackle Vernon Butler, and the position looks to be one of the strongest for the defending NFC champions.
Known as a hard-line negotiator, Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman has the preseason to work out a deal with Short. Gettleman has said he doesn’t negotiate during the regular season.
If a deal isn’t reached, there’s always the possibility of the Panthers using the franchise tag on Short like they did with Josh Norman earlier this year after failing to reach a long-term deal with the cornerback.
Of course, the Panthers later rescinded the tag and Norman went to Washington as the highest-paid cornerback in league history.
“We don’t know for sure if the salary cap is going to keep skyrocketing. We have to be fiscally responsible,” Gettleman told the Observer last month after minicamp. “There’s a point in time where I have to stop at a certain point and say, OK, again, I have to do what’s in the best interest of the Carolina Panthers. That’s just the way it is.”