Defensive tackle Damon Harrison averages just over $9 million per season in his lucrative deal and is the better player
Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins are the two semi-reasonable options. Still, both seem unlikely. The Giants already have tagged Pierre-Paul once before and doing so again after his seventh season with the team (and still no long-term deal) wouldn’t go over well. Hankins is a quality player and an asset to the defensive line, but he would cost around $14 million with the franchise tag, which is quite a hefty price.
Defensive tackle Damon Harrison averages just over $9 million per season in his lucrative deal and is the better player. So putting that kind of monster salary on Hankins is unlikely, unless it’s just a placeholder with a more reasonable long-term deal on the horizon.
Ideally, the Panthers want to reach deals with Short and Lotulelei this offseason to secure their defensive front long-term. They know Butler is tied up in his rookie deal through 2019, and 2020 should they use the fifth-year option.
The three would be a heck of a long-term combination.
If Short does hold out, Gettleman still has the nucleus for a four-man rotation in Lotulelei, Butler and Paul Soliai for 2017.
None have proven to be as versatile and disruptive at getting to the quarterback as Short, the team’s second-round pick in 2013. But Gettleman likely doesn’t feel the pressure to overspend on Short as he might if one or two of the other pieces weren’t in place.
Not that Gettleman would overspend, even though he has about $50 million in cap space. He’s proven to be stubborn with that in the past.
What happened with Norman a year ago is a prime example. The Pro Bowl cornerback didn’t sign the franchise tag and didn’t show up for the start of voluntary offseason workouts, so Gettleman rescinded the tag.
Norman signed with Washington.