Kawann Short's eight-year career in Carolina has come to an end.
The Panthers are releasing the veteran defensive tackle, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday. The team later announced the move.
Short has spent his entire NFL life in Carolina, where the Panthers brought him when they made him a second-round pick back in 2013. Short's addition was part of former general manager Dave Gettleman's first draft, in which he invested heavily in the defensive front, selecting Star Lotulelei in the first round before taking Short in the second round.
Short proved his selection wise, reaching two Pro Bowls in his first six seasons and earning a five-year contract extension in 2017, but he's been an afterthought for most of the four campaigns since the extension. After making his second Pro Bowl appearance in 2018, Short has played in just five games due to recurring shoulder issues.
The Panthers got younger at the position in 2020, drafting Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown with their first-round pick and turning to sixth-rounder Bravvion Roy to fill in for Short. With the cap projected to be lower than usual due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, teams are feeling the squeeze, and Carolina made the easy financial decision to part ways with Short, taking on $11 million in dead cap but saving the remaining $8.6 million of Short's $19.6 million cap number.
At 32 years old and lacking a full season's worth of work in the last two years, Short stands as an interesting free agent who will have to take less money than he was due in Carolina to find a new home. If healthy, he could stand to make an impact somewhere, but it's up to those shopping to decide whether he's worth the risk.