July 18, 2016

Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Kawann Short plans to report to training camp rather than holding out for a new contract.

NFL Network reported Monday that Short, who is entering the final year of his four-year rookie deal, won't skip training camp in hopes of landing a lucrative extension in line with the $103 million contract signed by Philadelphia Eagles tackle Fletcher Cox this summer.

Short turns 28 in February, and by March it's highly likely he'll be rolling in riches. He is scheduled to earn $1.04 million in 2016, not a bad deal for the Panthers considering Short was two-time NFC Defensive Player of the Month in 2015.

Veteran Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis said Short is worth top dollar based on last year's performance.

"We know how important it is to this football team. Hopefully soon they will get something worked out because he's a guy that is definitely deserving of everything that is about to happen to him," Davis said. "He played tremendous for us last year and he made our job easier as linebackers."

If no deal is reached before the league year begins in March, the Panthers hold the franchise tag as leverage, and could use it in 2017 to keep Short for one year at a price tag north of $15 million. The former second-round pick was drafted 30 spots after general manager Dave Gettleman landed Utah's Star Lotuleilei 14th overall.

Cox's deal includes $63 million guaranteed and Short could push for something similar if he repeats a breakout 2015 season that landed him in the Pro Bowl. He had 11 sacks last season, 1.5 more than Cox.

"That's the hard part right now is what's going on in the league," Panthers head coach Rivera said in June. "I think some of these contracts are unbelievable from what I'm seeing and hearing."

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