Veteran defensive tackles are healthy, preparing to sign
With NFL training camps starting next week, there are some veteran reinforcements at defensive tackle who will be available.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Tuesday that former Carolina Panthers’ Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kawann Short is healthy and already getting interest from teams. Carolina released Short earlier this year.
Former Panthers’ two-time Pro Bowl DT Kawann Short, who underwent shoulder surgery last season, now has been cleared for football activity and already is in discussions with a handful of teams.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 20, 2021
Short joins former Cincinnati Bengals star defensive tackle Geno Atkins as veterans who are now healthy and available to talk to teams. NFL Media reported on Monday that Atkins is close to being ready. He was also released earlier this year.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 19, 2021
I can see Short and Atkins (and other veterans coming off injuries) getting opportunities in the coming weeks as teams see where they stand at certain positions and as teams deal with training-camp injuries.
While Short and Atkins are accomplished players, I’m not sure the Raiders would have immediate interest even though they were connected to Atkins in recent years. But a main reason for that connection was Paul Guenther was the Raiders’ defensive coordinator. He coached Atkins in Cincinnati. Guenther, of course, was fired last December and is replaced this season by Gus Bradley.
Player familiarity aside, the Raiders are loaded at defensive tackle after adding several players this offseason.
Las Vegas signed free agents Solomon Thomas, Quinton Jefferson, Darius Philon and are high on undrafted free agent Darius Stills out of West Virginia. Las Vegas will have some tough decisions at this spot when they compile the 53-man roster. So, the only way they may be interested in Short or Atkins is if they have soured on the group or there are camp injuries.
Still, it’s good to have potential opens like Short and Atkins.