This move was expected, as Short missed most of the 2019 and 2020 seasons due to shoulder injuries. He’s also 32 years old and the team will save a bunch of salary cap space by cutting him. How much depends on the details.
If he’s a pre-June 1 designation, Short’s release will save the team roughly $8.6 million in 2021 and come with an $11 million dead money figure. If it’s a post-June 1 cut, it saves $13.28 million with just $6.33 million in dead money, per Over the Cap.
Carolina has a strong defensive line rotation and should be able to handle losing him, especially considering he hardly played the last two seasons.
For now, Derrick Brown and Zach Kerr are projected to start inside in 2021. Both are relatively cheap and performed well last season. However, there’s a compelling case to continue building up that defensive line and turn it from a strong unit into a dominant one.
A couple of free-agent replacements who are worth considering include Shelby Harris of the Broncos and Larry Ogunjobi of the Browns.
Joe Person at the Athletic reports Short’s release is not a post-June 1 designation, so they’ll save $8.6 million this year and take the full dead money hit. The move is official.