Unlike former teammate Josh Norman, Panthers defensive tackle Kawann Short won’t have any problem signing the franchise tender if the team tags him, he told the Associated Press. “I wouldn’t fight it or anything,” said Short, who was unable to reach a long-term deal with the Panthers last offseason. On Norman, whom Carolina let go last April after he wouldn’t sign the tender, Short commented, “Me and Josh are not the same. … He could have stayed here if he wanted to. He could have (signed) the franchise tag.” The durable Short just wrapped up his fourth straight 16-game season, one in which the 27-year-old ranked as Pro Football Focus’ fourth-best interior defender and totaled six sacks. Placing the franchise tag on Short should cost Carolina approximately $13.468MM in 2017.
More from around the NFL:
- It appears soon-to-be free agent wide receiver Kamar Aiken‘s third season with the Ravens will go down as his last. “Probably, it’s been the most frustrating year I’ve ever had since I’ve been in the league,” Aiken said of 2016 (via Edward Lee of the Baltimore Sun). “I would say I was proud of how I handled it.” Aiken was a key piece in the Ravens’ 2015 offense with 127 targets, 75 catches, 944 yards and five touchdowns, but his numbers dropped precipitously this season. In 16 games and six starts (eight fewer than he logged the prior year), Aiken accumulated 50 targets, 29 receptions, 328 yards and only one score. He spoke to offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg during the season about an expanded role, but nothing came of it. Mornhinweg will return to the Ravens next season, which seemingly increases the likelihood of an Aiken departure. The 27-year-old revealed that he’s “looking forward to” hitting the open market.
- Defensive tackle Nick Fairley took a cheap deal with the Saints last July and proved to be a steal in 2016, starting in all 16 of their games and amassing 43 tackles and 6.5 sacks. Fairley is now facing free agency for the third straight offseason, but he’d rather stay with the Saints than test the market. “I think I played my most consistent ball this year. I just feel like it’s the right fit for me,” Fairley told Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com. The 28-year-old Fairley, a former Lion and Ram, finished as PFF’s 33rd-ranked interior defender this season.
- As is the case with Fairley, cornerback Sterling Moore was an effective buy-low defender with the Saints this season. Now, like Fairley, Moore wants to re-sign with the club, he informed Herbie Teope of NOLA.com. “I see myself growing with these guys and just doing something special, so I don’t look at myself necessarily as a free agent even though my contract is coming to an end. I have full intentions on coming back,” said Moore, who made $760K in 2016. The early September signing set career highs in starts (12), tackles (56) and interceptions (two), and PFF rated him 67th among 120 qualified corners.
- The Patriots worked out a pair of free agents – tight end Rob Housler and cornerback Tharold Simon – on Tuesday, tweets Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. New England didn’t sign either, but the team could keep the veterans in mind as emergency options in the playoffs or circle back to them in the offseason, notes Reiss.