5 departures the Carolina Panthers will miss the most in 2021

Jason Huber
(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 – Former Carolina Panthers DT

  • Released and not yet signed with another team

Not having Kawann Short on the roster is a little easier to envision considering he had missed 27 games over the last two seasons combined.

However, Short’s impact up-front can’t be ignored.

Before injuries plagued his last two years, Short was the Carolina Panthers’ best defensive tackle from 2014-18.

In eight seasons in Carolina, Short started 76 of 99 games, totaling 167 solo tackles, 88 quarterback hits, and 32.5 sacks. He was a two-time Pro Bowler during that time.

At 32-years-old, the Panthers got younger last year by drafting defensive tackle Derrick Brown in the first round but Short provided a strong veteran presence to help the Auburn product adjust to the league.

Even while playing in just three games, Brown constantly spoke highly of Short.

Carolina had to move on from Short after the last two injury-plagued years. Short was owed $19.6 million in the final year of his deal and releasing him gave the Panthers an extra $8.6 million in savings.

But it’s hard to replace a guy like a healthy Short. Brown definitely eases the void and should only take another step forward but things get iffy on who lines up alongside him on the left side.

The Panthers will hope veteran DaQuan Jones along with second-year tackle Bravvion Roy, and rookies Phil Hoskins and Daviyon Nixon can step up in his absence.

Jones and Roy will likely get first dibs to compete for the starting job but it’s difficult to see any player making an impact like Short.

Short is still on the market, though, if Carolina ends up wanting to sign him at a cheaper price later in the offseason.