Kawann Short won’t play under the franchise tag after all.
Instead, the former Purdue star will stay in Carolina and make a whole lot of money to do so.
The Panthers announced that Short agreed to a new five-year, $80.5 million contract:
The #Panthers have signed DT Kawann Short to a five-year contract
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) April 17, 2017
The deal has $45 million in guarantees, according to NFL Network.
Two months ago, the Panthers put the franchise tag on Short. That deal would’ve paid him the average salary of the top five highest-paid defensive tackles in the NFL. They had until July 15 to work out a long-term deal.
The Pro Bowler will be due for a big raise from his rookie contract, especially the next two years.
DT Kawann Short will make $40M over first two years on his new deal with Panthers, per source. Confirmed that it's five years, $80M total.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) April 17, 2017
That deal will make Short the fourth-highest paid defensive tackle in the NFL.
The former second-round pick has been one of the top defensive tackles since he entered the league in 2013. Short’s 17 sacks the past two seasons rank third among all defensive tackles. He also hasn’t missed a game in his first four NFL seasons.
So far, Short racked up 176 tackles, including 22 sacks, with 88 quarterback pressures, six forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries in his career.