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Panthers HC Ron Rivera Optimistic They’ll Get Long-Term Deal In Place For DT Kawann Short

Panthers HC Ron Rivera told reporters on Wednesday that he’s optimistic they’ll be able to get a long-term extension in place for DT Kawann 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 previously told Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer that his representatives and the team are still in discussions regarding a potential contract extension.

However, Person added that there hasn’t been any indication that an extension is imminent and there’s even some question as to how much progress the two sides have made.

According to Person, Short 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.

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