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Carolina Panthers release two-time Pro Bowl DT Kawann Short

This is a 2020 photo of Kawann Short of the Carolina Panthers NFL football team. This image...
This is a 2020 photo of Kawann Short of the Carolina Panthers NFL football team. This image reflects the Carolina Panthers active roster as of Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020 when this image was taken. (AP Photo)(AP)
Updated: Feb. 16, 2021 at 1:14 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Carolina Panthers released veteran defensive tackle Kawann Short on Tuesday.

First reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Panthers are releasing the two-time Pro-Bowler, giving teams in the market for DT help another strong option.

The move means the team will save $8.6 million worth of salary cap space. This is important with the NFL salary cap for 2021 dropping from $198.2 million to $175 million.

Short, 32, was in the final year of his deal and owed $12.5 million in base salary.

Short ranks sixth in Panthers franchise history with 32.5 career sacks, the most by a defensive tackle. The eighth-year defensive tackle was the lone remaining captain from the five who opened up last season for the Panthers.

According to Panthers.com, since the start of 2015, Short has 27.5 sacks, fifth-most in the NFL by a defensive tackle in that span.

Short had season-ending surgery for a second consecutive season in 2020. On Oct. 4, Panthers Head Coach Matt Rhule said Short’s shoulder injury would require season-ending surgery and he would go on injured reserve.

Short started the first two games of 2019 before suffering a season-ending rotator cuff injury in Week 2 against Tampa Bay. Rhule says this injury was not the same shoulder Short injured last year.

After missing just two games in his first six-plus seasons, last year was Short’s first experience with a long-term injury.

“We’re all grown here. So you know what it is,” Short said the day after the season. “This is a ‘what can you do for me now’ business, so for me to have injuries back to back, it definitely put that in your head, whether the team wants you or not.”

Short was selected to the 2015 AP All-Pro Second Team and named PFWA All-NFC in the same year. In 2015, he started a career-high 16 games for Carolina and started in all three postseason games, including Super Bowl 50 vs. Denver. That year, Short contributed to a Panthers defensive unit that ranked sixth in the NFL in total defense and scoring defense.

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