Ron Rivera optimistic about Kawann Short's contract

When the Carolina Panthersrescinded Josh Norman's franchise tag in April, conventional wisdom suggested general manager Dave Gettleman would use the savings toward a new contract for 2015 breakout star Kawann Short.

Although Short reported to training camp without a hassle, he doesn't appear to be any closer to a long-term extension.

Coach Ron Rivera insists the contract impasse has not been a distraction over the past month. In fact, Rivera believes it's only a matter of time until the two sides find common ground.

"Somewhere along the line, they'll get together, they'll figure it out. I believe they will," Rivera said, via the team's official website. "He's too important a player for us, and K.K. likes where he is. We'll see how it all unfolds."

The 2013 second-round draft pick is entering the final year of his rookie contract after emerging as the dominant force on Carolina's defensive line, joining the Rams' Aaron Donald and the Bengals' Geno Atkins as the NFL's premier defensive tackles.

Looking to match the six-year, $102.6 million deal that Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox signed in June, Short certainly won't lack for motivation this season.

"The young man shows up and plays," Rivera added. "It's going very well. He's done some really nice things, and not just with what you see in practice or games. Overall, he's really done some nice things."

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