The decision to tag Short won’t come as a surprise. The 2015 All-Pro is reportedly seeking $17-19 million annually on a long-term deal. If the sides can’t agree on compensation, the Panthers will use the tag to ensure the 28-year-old remains in Carolina for at least one more season.
Teams can begin tagging potential free agents on February 15. Last season, the defensive tackle tag was more than $13.6 million.
“Everybody would like to avoid that,” Short said. “If it happens, it happens. I can’t come here and cuss out the organization because it happened. I need to be professional about the whole situation.”
Part of the reason behind rescinding Josh Norman‘s franchise tag last season — and failure to come to an agreement on a long-term deal for the corner — was to free up money for the looming contracts on the defensive line. Short’s contract is up now and Star Lotulelei‘s deal expires after next season.
Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman values “hog mollies” as the foundation of his defense. Soon he’ll have to pay those linemen to keep them in town.