Two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kawann Short was released by the Carolina Panthers, and is now among the most intriguing, underrated free agents on the open market for the 2021 NFL offseason.
Where could Short continue his NFL career next season? Well, there are several destinations that stand out as good fits.
Given that he’s appeared in only five games across the past two seasons, Short is going to probably draw a bargain, short-term contract laden with incentives and not to the salary he’s accustomed to. Given those circumstances, it’s likely Short will seek out a scheme that fits his strengths, a shot at playing a big role and playing for a quality team.
Using that criteria as the chief qualifiers, here are the best new teams Short could land with after parting ways with the franchise he once helped to a Super Bowl 50 bid.
Kawann Short to Buffalo Bills
Buffalo stands out above all the other teams as Short’s ideal landing spot. Former Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott has been the Bills’ head coach 2017. From 2011 through the season prior to taking the lead gig in Buffalo, McDermott was calling the shots during the most productive years of Short’s career.
With 2019 first-round pick Ed Oliver continuing to underachieve and the Bills’ pass rush lacking any seriously game-changing players, why wouldn’t McDermott be open to a reunion with Short? During a 15-1 season in 2015, Short was a dominant force who amassed 11 sacks and 18 quarterback hits to go with 16 tackles for loss. Blowing up that many plays in the backfield doesn’t happen by accident.
Even during his last mostly-healthy season of 2018 when McDermott had left Carolina, Short was still making tons of plays. He’s an excellent interior pass-rusher, but can also play the run really well. He’s a system fit for the Bills who could wind up being the slight spark they need on defense to go back to the AFC title game — and push past that point into Super Bowl LVI.