Where will former Panthers DT Kawann Short end up in 2021?

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Kawann Short
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Kawann Short /

Where will former Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Kawann Short end up in 2021 now he has been medically cleared for a return?

The Carolina Panthers cut ties with Kawann Short this offseason. An expected move considering the financial savings involved and the injury problems suffered by the standout defensive tackle over the last two seasons.

Before the injury bug began to bite, Short was an exceptional performer for the Panthers and his presence on the interior was sorely missed in 2020. Derrick Brown showed enormous promise during his rookie campaign, but there’s just no telling how much the Auburn product would have benefitted from a Pro Bowl veteran alongside him throughout his transition to the pros.

Carolina saved themselves some major money by releasing Short ahead of time. Although they are still on the hook for a shade over $11 million in dead-cap money this season.

It does seem a surprise that Short hasn’t yet found himself a new home considering the quality he brings to the table. But some encouraging recent news could see interest ramp up in the coming days as franchises across the league look at strengthening their options ahead of training camp.

According to multiple reports on Tuesday, the former Purdue star has been medically cleared to resume football activities after shoulder surgery ended his season early after just two games.

Even though Short has been unreliable from a health standpoint over the last two years, there’s nothing to suggest he cannot make a real difference on the field providing there are no further complications.

Kawann Short has multiple offers available and may even return to the Carolina Panthers.

Just where Short will end up is unclear.

There was talk of the Panthers potentially bringing him back on a reduced deal once he received the all-clear. But the player might see this as an opportunity to land on a team that has a better chance of mounting a Super Bowl challenge in 2021.

Money won’t be the biggest factor in Short’s decision.

Adam Schefter of ESPN stated that the lineman has received calls from a number of teams looking to acquire his services, so it’ll probably come down to the best fit and likelihood of playoff football at this stage of his career.

Short might not be a prominent starter anymore. But he’s had a substantial period of rest to heal his body and a rotational role could bring about a telling contribution and keep the player healthy in the process.

The Panthers might throw their hat into the ring despite the presence of DaQuan Jones, Daviyon Nixon, Phil Hoskins, Bravvion Roy, and three-technique as options to put alongside Brown. This would give Short some familiarity with the scheme to smooth a training camp transition but little chance of making a deep postseason run.

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There are far worse situations for Short to be in. Players with his credentials are normally highly sought-after at this time of year and it’s going to be interesting to see which avenue he chooses to go down for what will probably be his first full season away from the Panthers.