The Panthers are kicking off Thursday, which means the clock is ticking on more than just the offseason.
So with the deadline for any potential deal with star defensive tackle Kawann Short approaching, Short said there’s still some hope for a long-term deal.
“We’ve still got a couple more days, so hopefully something changes,” Short said, via Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer.
Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman has done deals late before (Luke Kuechly’s deal came three days before the opener), but he also just pulled the franchise tag from cornerback Josh Norman this offseason, so there’s reason for Short to feel some nervousness about betting on himself, a year before he hits free agency.
But Gettleman said the two sides were still talking, and Panthers coach Ron Rivera made it clear he still values Short too much to let him get away. But value is relative when guys like Fletcher Cox and Muhammad Wilkerson were ringing the bell for deals in the $17 million a year range.
And unlike Norman, Short has played nice, other than a brief prove-your-point absence from voluntary OTAs, before coming back for mandatory minicamp and showing up to training camp on time.
“That’s just who I am. I don’t seek for the attention. I don’t need to make a big impression about it,” Short said. “Everybody knows it takes them upstairs and my representation to get it done. It’s not like I can be on social media just bashing the team that I’m playing for.
“It’s crazy. I just [remain] modest and stay humble about the whole process and hopefully get blessed at the end.”
Whether that end is a new deal, or playing out his rookie deal and waiting for the inevitable franchise tag will be decided in the next 48 hours or so.