For the second consecutive offseason, the Carolina Panthers applied the non-exclusive franchise tag to the anchor of their defense.Defensive tackle Kawann Short will not hit the open market after being tagged by the Panthers on Monday.Short, a first-time Pro Bowl pick in 2015, was scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent when the league year begins March 9.By designating Short the franchise player, negotiations toward a long-term deal can be conducted until the July 15 league deadline.If no deal can be reached, Short would earn $13.4 in 2017 on a one-year tender.Last spring, the Panthers used the franchise marker to retain cornerback Josh Norman. Contract talks with the All-Pro cover man deteriorated and the tag was rescinded, making Norman a free agent. He signed with the Washington Redskins worth $75 million including $51.1 million guaranteed.The market for Short, a penetrating interior lineman, could bring a long-term deal worth more than $100 million and averaging more than $15 million per season.Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is due $19 million in 2017, while Fletcher Cox of the Philadelphia Eagles ($17.1 million) and Marcell Dareus of the Bills ($16.1 million) are also in the top tier.Short has 17 sacks since the start of the 2015 season.Short is the seventh player in Panthers history to receive the franchise tag, joining punter Todd Sauerbrun (2003), tackle Jordan Gross (2008), defensive end Julius Peppers (2009), center Ryan Kalil (2011), defensive end Greg Hardy (2014) and cornerback Josh Norman (2016).A second-round pick out of Purdue, Short has started 41 of the 64 regular season games in which he has played, including starts in all 16 games each of the past two seasons.He has 176 tackles, 22 sacks, 88 quarterback pressures, six forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and 13 passes defensed. He was selected out of Purdue by the Panthers (44th overall) in the 2013 NFL Draft.
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