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Market For LA Rams DT Aaron Donald Shaping Up As Carolina Panthers Re-Sign DT Kawann Short To 5-Yr, $80m Deal

Kawann Short got paid. Aaron Donald is going to get...more paid.

Carolina Panthers DT Kawann Short
Carolina Panthers DT Kawann Short
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers have re-signed DT Kawann Short to a five-year contract:

The deal gives Short the fifth-highest salary for a defensive tackle for 2017, slotting him ahead of Los Angeles Rams DT Michael Brockers. Short is set to make nearly $13.5m this season while Brockers, who signed a three-year extension last season, is on tap for $11m this year thanks to a $9m bonus he received last month.

Perhaps of more import to Rams fans is what the deal means for Rams DT Aaron Donald. The Rams exercised a fifth-year option on Donald last week keeping him under contract through the 2018 season.

The top of the DT market was set in 2015 with the massive contract doled out to Ndamukong Suh from the Miami Dolphins as well as the Buffalo Bills’ resigning of DT Marcell Dareus. While Short has joined that top tier at 28-years old, Suh is already 30-years old while Dareus is the youngest at 27.

Donald is just 25.

And whereas Short took a few years for his career to jump off, Donald, like Suh and Dareus, was an instant force in the NFL.

In his first two NFL seasons, Short had just 5 sacks. Dareus had 11. Suh had 14.

Donald had 20.

As I mentioned in covering Donald’s option, he’s going to get paid. The Rams are going to need to come up with a compelling reason for Donald to remain in LA, a reason they don’t have right now.

With Short the latest DT to help set the defensive tackle market, it’s a fair reminder of the challenge facing the Rams and GM Les Snead in trying to keep a hold of one of the best players in the NFL in Aaron Donald.