Panthers sign Kawann Short to 5-year contract

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers announced Monday it has signed star defensive tackle Kawann Short to a five-year contract, according to Panthers.com.

The Panthers placed a non-exclusive franchise tag on the 4-year veteran in February, which gave both parties until July 15 to sign a long-term deal.

“KK has been very important to what we’ve been able to accomplish on defense,” Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman said in a statement released by the team. “In 2013, when we drafted KK, I thought he was the best pass-rushing defensive tackle in the draft, and he’s been able to develop into one of the top young defensive tackles in the NFL. Off the field, KK is a top-notch young man and great representative of our team. I’m absolutely thrilled that we were able to get this deal done.”

ESPN’s Adam Schefter said the deal is expected to be worth $80 million.

Short had 17 sacks in the last two seasons, which is third most among NFL defensive tackles during that span. In 2015, he recorded a career-high 11 sacks, the most by a defensive tackle in team history.

In his career, Short has 179 tackles, 22 sacks, six forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries.