That can be applied between Wednesday and March 1.
But what about the rest of Carolina's unrestricted free agents? Here's a look at my top five after Short and the likelihood that they will return:
DE Mario Addison: Rivera said at the end of the season that his sack leader (9.5) was a complete defensive end after spending much of the past few years referring to him as a pass-rush specialist. No doubt Addison brings a lot as a pass-rusher. He has 22 sacks over the past three seasons combined. He also will be 30 in September, not an age at which general manager Dave Gettleman will likely make a huge investment. It's a decent year for ends in the draft, so the Panthers may let Addison test the free-agent waters even though he wants to return. Gettleman won't overspend here.
WR Ted Ginn Jr.: He'll be 32 in April, but he still has elite speed and the Panthers need all the speed they can get. His 54 catches for 752 yards and four touchdowns were second on the team among wide receivers to Kelvin Benjamin (63, 941, 7). He's also still dependable as a kick returner, although his 7.0 yards per punt return was his lowest since 2009. But he shouldn't come with a big price tag and his speed can be an asset, so odds favor him returning. Still, look for the Panthers to add more speed at this position in the draft and free agency.
OT Mike Remmers: He hasn't reached the point that Byron Bell did a few years ago when the Panthers needed to move on from him. Although he struggled at times, he held down the left tackle spot the final 13 games after Michael Oher was diagnosed with a concussion. Is he worth a big contract? At 27, this is Remmers' best chance to get one. He may want to test the market even though he wants to return. If he wants fair right tackle money, bringing him back seems likely. Much here depends on that as the Panthers look to add other tackles in the open market. Whether there are signs Oher will clear the concussion protocol and be ready to go in 2017 also is a factor.
OL Chris Scott: You may be surprised to see Scott's name here over linebacker A.J. Klein or safety Colin Jones. That's because upgrading the offensive line is a priority, and Scott's versatility to play guard, tackle or even center makes him valuable. He's 29 and probably won't ask for a big number, particularly after the Panthers stuck with him after he was suspended for four games for violating the league's performance enhancing drug policy. I'm not so sure Klein is a priority with the team high on 2015 draft pick David Mayo as a backup to Luke Kuechly, and with linebacker Ben Jacobs getting a two-year deal. Jones is likely to re-sign as a special teams player.
DE Charles Johnson: Rivera said Johnson was Carolina's most consistent defensive lineman this past season despite missing three games with a hamstring injury, and he'd like to have him back. Johnson hasn't reached double-digits in sacks since 2013 when he had 11 and he'll be 31 in July. But he's a locker-room leader and is probably willing to re-sign for a bargain like he did a year ago (one year, $3 million). Another such deal seems likely.