4 Panthers players already fighting for their futures this season

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Curtis Samuel
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Curtis Samuel /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) Kawann Short /

Kawann Short – Carolina Panthers DT

It has been a frustrating start to the 2020 season for Kawann Short. The defensive tackle struggled against the Las Vegas Raiders during what was his first taste of competitive action for almost a year in Week 1 and this was unfortunately followed by another spell on the sidelines through injury.

The Pro Bowler missed Weeks 2 and 3 with a troublesome foot problem. But he returned to the rotation against the Cardinals and contributed to an exceptional performance overall from the Carolina Panthers’ defense.

Short came into the campaign with more questions than answers regarding his long-term future. The veteran is contracted through 2021 on an astronomical salary that will see him count $20.83 million against Carolina’s salary cap.

Given that the cap is set to come down due to a lack of fans in the stands following strict COVID-19 health guidelines implemented by the NFL to ensure the season stays intact. Then it’s highly unlikely that Short is going to be kept around at this sort of financial commitment.

Trading him also seems unlikely given his inability to stay healthy, which represents something of a complication due to the finances involved.

There was no doubting Short was deserving of a pay rise when he was given it. But this is not coming back to bit the Panthers in the current climate.

One possible option they could utilize is restructuring the lineman. But they might just cut their losses entirely if things carry on as they are.