Carolina Panthers: Can Kawann Short bounce back in 2020?

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Kawann Short
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Kawann Short /
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Kawann Short Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Kawann Short /

Kawann Short’s season was ended prematurely by injury last season, but can the standout Carolina Panthers defensive end get back to his best in 2020?

There is plenty of pressure on Kawann Short heading into 2020. The Carolina Panthers lost a host of influential figures during the offseason and the player is now the undisputed leader of the defense.

Short has enjoyed a prolific career in Carolina after being taken with the 44th overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft. He has been a revelation during his time with the franchise. But the player has plenty of questions to answer heading into next season.

The stud defensive end managed just two games in 2019 before a torn rotator cuff placed him on injured reserve. Short is comfortably the biggest earner on the Panthers’ during the next campaign and he will need to play up this lofty price tag.

He is set to earn $12.5 million in base salary in 2020 and count $19.5 million against the Panthers’ salary cap. If Short does not live up to expectations next year then it could very well be his last season with the franchise.

The 31-year-old is a two-time Pro Bowl selection and made second-team All-Pro back in 2015. He has 32.5 career sacks over his seven-year career in addition to 164 solo tackles, nine forced fumbles, and 12 pass deflections.

This sort of production is going to be needed if the Panthers are going to remain competitive in the NFC South. It is widely regarded to be the toughest division in the NFL in 2020 and Carolina is going to need their prized asset firing on all cylinders to give them the best possible chance of success.