The Carolina Panthers made it official on Monday that they have franchise tagged Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kawann Short.
NOW, after last off season, we all know that means NOTHING until Short signs that franchise tender which will give him a salary around $13.5 million next season. Not a bad raise from the $1.4 million he made last season. With that kind of raise expect Short to sign.
Then again, we thought the same thing last off season as the Panthers franchise tagged cornerback Josh Norman, but Norman didn't sign the tender before the team rescinded the offer thus making Norman a free agent. To this day, we still don't know what happened in negotiation between the two sides to have the team pull the offer.
One thing we know now, the Panthers can change their minds if negotiations on a long term deal go bad. So once again I say, with that kind of raise, expect Short to sign the deal and continue to negotiate on a long term deal which the two sides can do until July 15th.
So in the last two day, the Panthers have applied the tag to KK and have re-signed defensive ends Mario Addison and Wes Horton.
Before all of this movement, the Panthers figured to have around $50 to $60 million in salary cap space. On the generous end, the team should still have around $30 million to make more additions to the team.
Free agency starts next Thursday March 9th.
I'd still like to see them go get a left tackle first and foremost. Last year's starting left tackle Michael Oher is still not out the concussion protocol. He sustained the concussion back in September and the Panthers can ill afford going into this season with a major question at left tackle. Especially considering the fact that Mike Remmers is free agent. Remmers took over at left tackle after Oher was shut down for the season. That's too many questions so now it's time to answer some of those with the signing of a left tackle. PERIOD!
I'd like to see them address wide receiver in free agency. Preferably a slot receiver to work the middle of the field for Cam Newton.
Safety could also be on the shopping list for this team and I still would not eliminate the signing of a defensive end.
Can they do all of that with $30 million? YES!
I still say, Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman will spend this free agency period and not just stop gap players. He finally has money to work with, but he won't go crazy. He still has to sign draft picks, but the vast majority of this money will be gone once they kick off the season in September.
If the Panthers do spend, they are letting the fan base know the time is NOW to get this championship.
If they stand back and do nothing, what does that tell the fan base? Wait until 2018!
And I doubt that's the message they want to send.