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Kawann Short, Panthers have begun contract talks

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Now that Josh Norman is no longer on the payroll, the Carolina Panthers have the salary-cap space to reward other young stars with long-term contracts.

To that end, the Panthers have begun extension talks with defensive tackle Kawann Short, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported, via a source informed of the organization's thinking.

No signing is imminent, per Rapoport, but the negotiations are a sign that the coaching staff and front office view the 2015 Pro Bowl selection as one of the core players going forward.

Short was a breakout performer in 2015, tying first-team All-Pros Aaron Donald and Geno Atkins with 11 sacks -- most among NFL defensive tackles. His 68 combined QB sacks, hits and hurries were behind only Atkins' 82 and Donald's 79 at the position, according to Pro Football Focus.

A new contract for Short will be general manager Dave Gettleman's top priority over the next few months.

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