Carolina Panthers sign DT Kawann Short to 5-year, $80M deal

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The signed star defensive tackle to a five-year contract Monday.

The team has not disclosed financial terms, but sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the deal is worth $80 million.

The Panthers used the non-exclusive franchise tag on Short on Feb. 27 and had until July 15 to sign him to a long-term contract.

“KK has been very important to what we’ve been able to accomplish on defense,” Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman said in a statement released by the team. “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.”

Short, whose production dropped from a team-high 11 sacks in 2015 to six this past season, said he wanted to remain with the Panthers even if it meant the franchise tag.

“KK consistently affects the quarterback and is strong against the run,” Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said. “The mismatches he creates for us on defense force opponents to be aware of him at all times and give us an edge along the defensive line. He’s a great player, but also a quality young man who has the respect of his teammates in the locker room. He’s everything we’re looking for in a Panther.”

Rivera also previously had said that the former Purdue star was “too important of a player” for Carolina not to re-sign.

Short, selected in the second-round of the 2013 draft, has 22 career sacks, 179 tackles, six forced fumbles and five fumble returns.

ESPN’s David Newton contributed to this report.



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