Steve Reed of the Associated Press reports the Panthers and DT Kawann Short are not expected to reach a deal before the start of the regular season.
Instead, Reed says that the two parties will likely wait until next year to pick up contract talks again.
Panthers GM Dave Gettleman told reporters a few weeks ago that contract negotiations with Short were still ongoing.
Panthers HC Ron Rivera also mentioned that he was optimistic they’ll be able to get a long-term extension in place with Short at some point.
“Somewhere along the line, they’ll get together, they’ll figure it out. I believe they will,” Rivera said, via Panthers.com. “He’s too important a player for us, and K.K. likes where he is. We’ll see how it all unfolds.”
Rivera added that he doesn’t consider the situation to be a distraction for the team.
“That has not been a distraction,” Rivera said. “In fact, the first I’ve heard of it is you just bringing it up. It’s been awhile.”
Short reportedly believes he should be compensated as one of the best defensive tackles in the league his agent, which means he could be targeting close to $17 million per year. This comes after the recent extensions signed by Eagles DT Fletcher Cox and Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson.
It appears as though the Panthers aren’t willing to offer him that kind of money. Beyond that, Carolina will also need to address DT Star Lotulelei, which means they could always franchise Short next year at around $14 million or so and buy themselves additional time to work on an extension.
Short ultimately elected to report in time for the start of training camp after he held out of OTAs for contract reasons.
Short, 27, was taken in the second-round of the 2013 NFL Draft and is currently in the final year of his four-year, $4.630 million rookie contract. Short stands to make a base salary of $1,036,410 for the 2016 season before testing the open market as an unrestricted free agent next year.
In 2015, Short appeared in all 16 games for the Panthers and recorded 55 tackles, 11 sacks, three forced fumbles, two recoveries and four pass defenses. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 8 interior defensive lineman out of 123 qualifying players.
We’ll have more regarding Short and the Panthers as the news is available.