The Jacksonville Jaguars need to beef up their defensive line this offseason and there will be many interesting options in free agency and the draft. However, if they don’t want to wait, they can go ahead and sign former Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Kawann Short, who is currently free to sign with any team.
A second-round selection in 2013, the Panthers released Short as Adam Schefter of ESPN originally reported. By moving on from the defensive tackle, Carolina will have an extra $9.8 million in cap space, which could come in handy in their efforts to re-sign players such as right tackle Taylor Moton.
A Pro Bowl nod in 2015 and 2018, Short registered 201 total tackles (47 for a loss), 27.5 sacks, nine passes defensed and seven forced fumbles from 2015 to 2017. However, he was limited to ten total tackles in the last two years.
What could Kawann Short bring to the Jacksonville Jaguars?
An old adage says that there’s always a reason why players are available in the open market. In Short’s case, the reason is clear. The defensive tackle hasn’t been healthy in the last two years and has missed 27 games after missing just two the previous four seasons.
If the Jaguars are interested in signing Short, they could do it at any time. Defensive tackles DaVon Hamilton and Doug Costin displayed flashes last season and could be part of the team’s defensive line rotation in 2021. However, Jacksonville still needs to upgrade the defensive tackle position, and Short could be an interesting option.
Although Short may not be the same player he was a few years ago, he could still provide value on a rotational role. The ‘Jags’ would need to assess his health but if the medical staff gives him the green light, they should strongly consider offering him a one-year prove-it deal. Keep in mind that Jacksonville could sign Short and still add another defensive tackle in the open market or target a young prospect such as Christian Baramore in 2021’s draft.
Both Jaguars and Short could benefit from a short-term pact. The Purdue product could show that still has plenty of gas in the tank while Jacksonville could add depth to their front four. If the signing doesn’t work out, they could part ways without any repercussion.