Kawann Short was coming off a career year in 2015, with 11 sacks and is entering the final year of his rookie contract. The premier defensive tackle was hoping for a contract extension this offseason that would solidify his place with the Carolina Panthers for years to come.
However, that never materialized and prior to the team's first preseason game it was reported by CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora that talks between the too sides was 'effectively dead'. Even though the two sides appear to have ended talks, head coach Ron Rivera is confident that a deal will get done at some point.
After practice on Wednesday, he said: "Somewhere along the line, they will get together and figure it out. I believe they will. He is too important of a player for us and KK likes where he is."
At this point of the preseason, and with La Canfora's report, it appears that most likely there won't be a new deal reached prior to the regular season. General manager Dave Gettleman said last offseason that he does not negotiation contract extensions during the regular season.
Contract negotiations, especially for high profile players like Short, can tend to be messy and sometimes can carry over into the locker room. However, this doesn't appear to be the case according to Rivera. " This has not been a distraction. In fact, the first I heard of it was just now when you brought it up. It's been awhile."
This is a credit to not only the Panthers' front office but the defensive tackle as well, not allowing the negotiations to spill over into other areas of the organization. Rivera has been impressed with what Short has done this offseason and not only what he is showing in practice and preseason games.