CHARLOTTE - Kawann Short is still good friends with former Panther Josh Norman.
"That's still my guy," Short said Monday, after signing a five-year deal with the Carolina Panthers. "I still talk to him a lot."
But Short likely didn't take any negotiating advice from Norman, who abruptly left Charlotte after the 2015 season when negotiations broke down with the team, signing a big contract with Washington.
"I knew it wasn't going to go that way," said Short.
Short was faced with the same situation after the team slapped him with the one-year franchise tag after this season.
But unlike Norman, Short wanted to make sure the lines of communication with the team were open and respectful.
"Keep the lines open," Short said, "and be smart about the communication and the words that we say."
Norman's franchise tag was famously, and quickly, rescinded by Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman last April. While no one involved has opened up about what was said to kill the relationship, it's assumed the two sides were not exactly on friendly terms.
Short just seemed eager to get the process over with.
"The communication between us and upstairs was unbelievable," Short said "We came to an agreement. It just happened at the right time, it’s a blessing."
Short, 28, has racked up 17 sacks over the last two seasons, which is good enough for third among NFL defensive tackles.
His goal over the term of the deal is simple: "Be the best defensive tackle. That’s the ultimate goal."
And now he can try and accomplish that with the team that drafted him in the second round in 2013.
"I felt at home when I got here and these guys took a chance one me," Short said. "To be able to commit to somebody who’s committing to me I couldn't ask for anything better."