August 24, 2016

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Coach Ron Rivera says defensive tackle Kawann Short is ''too important a player'' for the Panthers not to sign him to a long-term contract.

Short has one year remaining on his rookie deal. He's outperformed his current contract, recording 11 sacks last season while being named NFC Player of the Month twice.

Rivera said Wednesday that ''somewhere along the line, those are good guys, they'll figure it out. I believe they will. ... (Short) likes where he is. We'll see where it all unfolds.''

Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman has a policy of not discussing contract negotiations in the media.

Gettleman also does not negotiate contracts once the regular season begins, so the Panthers essentially have two weeks to strike a deal.

Short said last month he has no plans to holdout.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL.

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