The Panthers placed the franchise tag on defensive tackle Kawann Short Monday afternoon, Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer reports.
The tag is non-exclusive, meaning Short can talk with and potentially sign an offer sheet with another team, which the Panthers could match and keep him or not match and receive two first-round picks in return.
The move came two days before the official “tag deadline” and more than a week before Short was due to hit the open market as a free agent. He has until July 15 to work out a deal with the Panthers.
The projected value of the tag for a defensive tackle is $13.5 million.
Short was tagged just hours after the Panthers re-signed defensive end Wes Horton to a two-year deal, and extended defensive end Mario Addison’s contract by three years and a reported $22.5 million. Short and Addison were two of the top priorities for the Panthers as free agency approached