Report: Panthers sign DT Kawann Short to massive five-year deal

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 15:  Kawann Short #99 of the Carolina Panthers warming up before a game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on November 15, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

For the second straight year, the Carolina Panthers opted to use the franchise tag. And for the second year in a row, their tagged player won’t actually play out the year on the franchise tag.

The Panthers signed Kawann Short, whom they tagged in February, to a massive five-year, $80 million contract, according to ESPN.

Short’s new deal will make him the fourth-highest paid defensive tackle in the league, behind only Ndamukong Suh, Fletcher Cox and Marcell Dareus. He’s certainly deserving of a long-term deal, especially after dominating in 2015 with 11 sacks.

His $80 million contract surpasses that of Josh Norman’s with the Redskins (five years, $75 million) after the Panthers rescinded the franchise tag on him. With Short now locked up for five years, the Panthers no longer have to worry about a possible holdout leading up to training camp.

The deadline to sign the franchise tag was July 15, so Carolina got way out ahead of this.