Did Derrick Brown’s Instagram post hint at Kawann Short return?

(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) Kawann Short
(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) Kawann Short /

Did a recent Instagram post from Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Derrick Brown hint at a Kawann Short return in 2021?

Kawann Short remains a free agent after being released by the Carolina Panthers earlier this offseason. The move itself was pretty obvious considering the player’s recent injury history and the savings involved by cutting him loose ahead of time, ending what was a prolific career with the organization before things ended on a sour note over the last two years.

Short was recently cleared to medically return to on-field activities after shoulder surgery. The former Purdue standout has been in contact with a number of teams without anything concrete happening just yet, with the Panthers also not ruling out a potential return on a reduced salary despite their apparent strength on the defensive front.

It shouldn’t be too much longer before Short’s plans in 2021 are finalized. And a recent Instagram post by Derrick Brown only fanned the flames regarding an instant reunion between the Pro Bowler and the Panthers.

Derrick Brown was working out with Kawann Short ahead of Carolina Panthers training camp.

Brown – who certainly looked the part in the workout pictures – posted about how he was putting in the work ahead of the team’s return to Wofford College in Spartanburg ahead of training camp this week.

And who’s that in the background?

None other than Short.

Now, this might be nothing.

Short could just be working out with former teammates in familiar surroundings to fine-tune his skills before another team comes calling. But it’s not stopped the rumor mill from buzzing about the lineman coming back to Carolina.

If this scenario came to fruition in the not-too-distant future, using Short on a rotational basis could be highly beneficial for the Panthers. The 2013 second-round pick has featured in just five games over the last two years, so he should be fresh and fully healed providing there are no long-term complications with his shoulder.

Carolina does have Brown and free-agent signing DaQuan Jones as their projected starters. Bravvion Roy and the rookie duo of Phil Hoskins and Daviyon Nixon are hoping for prominent spots on the depth chart, but adding a high-impact veteran such as Short could also be an option worth considering.

This would be a popular move from a fan perspective, too.

Short was adored by Carolina’s loyal support, with his dominance and mentality something that made him an instant favorite. The NFL is a business and everybody understands that, but if the player is willing to accept the veterans’ minimum or a little bit higher, the Panthers might pull the trigger.

There is a flip side to this coin. Short might prefer landing on a team with more realistic aspirations of challenging for a Super Bowl at this stage of his career, which is more than understandable.

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Only time will tell as to whether Short and Carolina will come to an agreement. But the post from Brown certainly got everybody talking.