The Buffalo Bills will be looking to make major cuts following their final preseason game on Saturday, as they need to whittle down their roster from 80 players to 53 players by August 31 at 4 p.m. ET.
While the Bills figure out who stays and who goes, numerous NFL analysts believe Buffalo’s head coach, Sean McDermott, should save a roster spot to sign free agent defensive tackle Kawann Short.
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Bleacher Report’s article, “NFL Free Agents We Can’t Believe Are Still Available,” listed Short, and named the Bills as the perfect team to sign him. Short, after undergoing shoulder surgery, is cleared and ready to play, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported in July.
Reporter Chris Roling surmised that the Purdue alum, who’s recorded 32.5 sacks over 99 NFL games, still has a lot of fight left in him:
If Short is healthy, he can be a force, even at age 32. In his last major stint of playing time in 2018, he appeared in 14 games and generated an 83.7 PFF grade with three sacks. While Short is a risk, he’s the type of low-cost, big-upside player a contender like Buffalo could sign to make the pass rush more dynamic, especially since top-10 pick Ed Oliver is sitting on just eight sacks over two seasons.
Short was originally drafted by the Carolina Panthers as the 44th overall pick 2015. He’s played with the Panthers his entire NFL career thus far, where he’s tallied 280 tackles, 59 tackles for loss, 32.5 sacks, nine forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries, and 12 passes defended in 99 regular-season games (76 starts), per CBS Sports. He appeared in the Pro Bowl in both 2015 and 2018.
Sports Illustrated Also Named the Bills as the Perfect Fit for Short
While Sports Illustrated named a slew of teams that should be open to taking a gamble on Short, such as the Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, Tennessee Titans, and Miami Dolphins, the Bills were at the top of the list. SI Reporter Schuyler Callihan explained:
It only makes sense considering former Panthers DC turned Bills head coach Sean McDermott has been picking up ex-Panthers left and right since taking over the job. Ed Oliver hasn’t quite lived up to expectations in his first two years and bringing in a veteran like Short could help him in his development.
Short Wants to Get Back on the Field
Short announced back in January that he planned to return to the field as a playmaker following back-to-back season-ending injuries. Over the past two seasons, he’s only appeared in a total of five games.
Short insinuated back in January that he wants to continue to play this season, even if it’s not with the Panthers:
We all grown here, so it is what it is. This is a ‘what can you do for me now’ type of business. So for me to have an injury back-to-back puts that hint in your head where you wonder if they want you or not. But at the same time, I can’t worry about it. We have to cross that bridge when we get there. So right now, I’m still preparing like I’m going to be here next year to help this team win and help get us to the playoffs.
While Short was released by the Panthers early in the offseason, he was spotted working out with his former Panthers’ teammate, defensive tackle Derrick Brown, at the end of July.