The Philadelphia Eagles didn't wait long to extend the contract of tight end Zach Ertz, announcing last week a new deal for the former Stanford star through the 2021 season. The move was sensible, as Ertz is a dynamic middle-of-the-field pass-catcher, but it was also notable for the timing.
Ertz, a second-round pick in 2013, became eligible for an extension after the Eagles' season ended. The collective bargaining agreement permits drafted players to sign an extension as soon as after a player's third NFL season. Ertz was the first member of the 2013 draft class to sign an extension.
The CBA also includes a fifth-year team option for all first-round picks, so while it's possible that some first-rounders from 2013 will sign an extension this offseason, teams have two more years of contract control, which means there is less urgency to strike a deal. Non-first-round picks sign contracts for just four years, meaning Ertz was set to enter the final year of his deal in 2016.
Using Ertz's new deal as a springboard, here's a look at non-first-round picks from the 2013 draft class who are candidates to receive extensions this offseason.
Defensive tackle, Carolina Panthers
A theme of the 2015 offseason for Carolina was extending critical cogs on the roster. Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis and Greg Olsen all received new contracts. No reason to veer from that path this year, and a good place to start is Short. Calling him disruptive would be selling him short, as he's just a nightmare to block for opposing interior offensive linemen. Short racked up 11 sacks and three forced fumbles this year, but even his outstanding production doesn't tell the full story. He's a play wrecker who lives in opponents' backfields. There may not have been a better defensive tackle in football in 2015.