5 free agents the Carolina Panthers should call after first loss of 2021

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

Kawann Short – Former Carolina Panthers DT

Another former member of the Carolina Panthers, anyone?

The defensive front enjoyed a fantastic start to the 2021 season, albeit against inferior opposition. However, some flaws were exposed at the Dallas Cowboys that could leave the front office wondering if the right personnel is in place.

The run defense was a problem last season at times. So the Panthers can ill-afford this becoming something more than a one-game demolition by Ezekiel Elliot and Tony Pollard, who were both running behind a dominant offensive line.

Kawann Short’s presence in the free-agent market is intriguing. Carolina released the Pro Bowler this spring with one year remaining on his deal after two injury-plagued seasons that saw him turn out just five times during this span.

Short is still getting paid just over $11 million from the Panthers this season, which is a tidy sum by anybody’s standards. But having him as part of a rotation that includes Bravvion Roy and Daviyon Nixon behind the starting duo is something to consider.

The former second-round pick also has experience as a 3-4 defensive end – a scheme which defensive coordinator Phil Snow has deployed a lot over the first four contests.

Much would depend on whether Short wants to play or is willing to wait for a chance on a contender. But the benefits are there providing he’s able to stay healthy.