Kawann Short will stay with the Panthers heading into the 2017 season via the franchise tag (Paul Spinelli/Associated Press)

The Panthers are not going to let Kawann Short leave Carolina this offseason.

Panthers head coach Ron Rivera told ESPN that the team will “probably have to tag” their star defensive tackle this offseason. That’s of course, assuming a long-term contract can’t be reached. Last season the defensive tackle franchise number was worth $13.6 million. That number will likely be higher this season.

Putting the franchise tag on Short will ensure the team will keep him for at least one more season. The former 2nd round pick in 2013 from Purdue has been one of the best defensive tackles in the league the past couple of seasons. Charles Johnson, Mario Addison, and Tedd Ginn are now the premier names that are set to become unrestricted free agents for the Panthers. According to overthecap.com the Panthers are expected to have about $49 million in cap space this offseason.

Short, 28, record 6 sacks this past season for Carolina.