Kawann Short is not going anywhere. Before the defensive tackle even had the opportunity to leave the Carolina Panthers in free agency this spring, the team decided to place the Franchise Tag on their star defender, keeping him on the roster for another season and allowing them to look at the issue of a new contract for the next few months.

The franchise tag

The value of the franchise tag is not yet known. It is determined based on the average of the five largest salaries of players who compete at the same position in the NFL. Right now, the projection puts the deal around $13.5 million for the season.

That may actually be a bargain for the Panthers, considering the type of long-term deal Short could get on the open market.

In most cases, the franchise tag isn't viewed as a means to put a player on the open market. Instead, it's used to recognize a player with immense talent and create additional time to come to terms on a long-term contract. The Panthers have a mixed history with the contract move, though. Last year, they applied it to cornerback Josh Norman, only to take the unusual step of rescinding it and allowing him to leave in free agency later on. The team probably won't follow that route with Short, but it can no longer be counted out.

The next step

The Panthers had until March 1 to place the franchise tag on a player.

With Short locked up as their player for the designation, the team now has until July 15 to negotiate a long-term deal with him. If the two sides can't reach an extension by then, Short will play under the franchise tag for the 2017 NFL season.

Short has emerged as one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL.

In the past two seasons, the lineman has recorded 17 sacks, 110 total tackles, and four forced fumbles. He was selected for an All-Pro team in 2015 and is the best defensive lineman for the Panthers since the days of Greg Hardy. The team would be wise to try and keep the 28-year-old in the franchise fold for the indefinite future, depending on the team finances.

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