Panthers sign DT Kawann Short to 5-year extension

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers announced Monday that the team signed Short, who is now under contract with the Panthers through the 2021 season.

Now locked up with Carolina until 2023, Short figures to anchor a Panthers' defense looking to regain respectability after a disappointing 2016 season, as they missed the playoffs a year after losing to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50. That season he brought down opposing quarterbacks 11 times on his way to being named to the Pro Bowl.

He had a slow start last season but did manage six sacks and the Panthers placed the franchise tag on him back in February. "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". Beating the July deadline by several months, the two sides have reportedly agreed to a five-year, $80 million contract. We've all been told about how much Dave Gettleman values his hog mollies and pass rushers, but this deal really proved it.

Coach Ron Rivera also has said that the former Purdue star was "too important of a player" for Carolina not to re-sign. "He's a great player, but also a quality young man who has the respect of his teammates in the locker room".

The contract puts Short among the top five highest paid defensive tackles in the league.

Locking in Short long-term and ensuring he'll be ready to play in 2017 gives the Panthers a pretty stout defense heading into the coming year, which Carolina expects should be a bounceback year after a disappointing 2016.

Restricted free agent guard Andrew Norwell, and exclusive rights free agents center Tyler Larsen and punter Michael Palardy signed their tenders Monday.

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