CHARLOTTE – Kawann Short has been around the NFL long enough to realize what happens to guys as they age, stack up injuries, and get expensive.
Tuesday, it happened.
The Panthers released the veteran defensive tackle Tuesday, beginning the process of clearing up some cap space.
They'll save $8.6 million worth of room with the move, which will come in handy. With the salary cap for 2021 dropping from $198.2 million to $175 million (though it could rise slightly in the coming weeks), every dollar is going to count this offseason.
This was an expected move, and Short seemed to realize it, explaining at the end of the season that he knew his combination of age, recent injuries, and finances made this likely.
"We're all grown here. So you know what it is," Short said the day after the season. "This is a 'what can you do for me now' business, so for me to have injuries back to back, it definitely put that in your head, whether the team wants you or not."
The 32-year-old Short has played in just five games the last two seasons because of shoulder problems and had the second-highest cap number on the roster for 2021, making the move inevitable.
When healthy, he was a steady producer for the Panthers with 32.5 sacks in his first six seasons. And they'll clearly need to find someone who can do what he did when well, as coaches have identified adding a three-technique defensive tackle spot as a priority.
Converted defensive end Efe Obada was useful there last season, second on the team with 5.5 sacks, but they'd like to find a productive starter to continue to use him as a reserve.
- Since 2013, his 32.5 sacks are tied for sixth-most among all NFL defensive tackles.
- Recorded 11.0 sacks in 2015, tied for the NFL lead among defensive tackles...Had four games with two or more sacks in 2015, second-most in the NFL.
- Ranks seventh in franchise history with 32.5 career sacks, the most by a defensive tackle.
- Led the Panthers with a career-high 11.0 sacks in 2015, most by a defensive tackle in team history.
- Pro Bowl (2018, 2015)
- AP All-Pro Second Team (2015)
- PFWA All-NFC (2015)
- PFWA All-Rookie (2013)
NFC Defensive Player of the Month (2015: October, December)
- NFC Defensive Player of the Week (2015: Week 6)
View photos of Panthers defensive tackle Kawann Short during his eight seasons with Carolina. Short ranks seventh in franchise history with 32.5 sacks.