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Greg Hardy’s arrest leaves the Panthers with scant options


While it’s barely 24 hours after Greg Hardy’s arrest on domestic violence charges — which include allegations of a large stash of guns in his apartment — it’s becoming clear the Panthers are in a tough spot from a football standpoint.

The defensive end signed his franchise tender shortly after it was given, guaranteeing his $13.1 million salary for the coming season.

That alone makes it unlikely they’d simply cut him, since that would drag their salary cap down like an anchor (such that it doesn’t already, with him and Charles Johnson chewing up more than 20 percent of their cap).

The Panthers would be get a credit back against the cap if he were suspended by the league for a number of games, and as history has shown, it doesn’t take a conviction to bring a punishment under the league’s conduct policy. And they could argue that a conviction would be a default of the contract, and try to get the money back, but that would be months down the road.

Another option — and again, it’s very early in this process — would be a trade.

Drafting Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy in the second round last week, when he wasn’t as big of a need, gives them the flexibility to move Hardy if need be. Owner Jerry Richardson traditionally takes a dim view of any charges involving violence toward women, so it can’t be ruled out at this point. Former second-round tackle Chris Terry was released after he failed to appear in court following an arrest for a domestic dispute with his wife in 2002.

A trade comes with plenty of hurdles too. Since Hardy’s hefty cap charge would transfer to another team, you’d think any deal would also be contingent on some degree of contract extension. And as tough as trading for an accused committer of domestic violence would be, giving him a contract extension would be a hard sell to that team’s fan base.

But it’s also a pragmatic league, and it’s hard to imagine there’s not a team willing to part with a future pick for a guy with 26.0 sacks the last two seasons.

There are 10 teams with enough cap space to do a deal immediately, but nothing about this case indicates a resolution is coming soon.

At the moment, the process will roll on, through the court system and the NFL’s own review, and the Panthers are forced to wait and wonder how much they’ll actually get from their franchise player this year.

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52 Responses to “Greg Hardy’s arrest leaves the Panthers with scant options”
  1. raiders4lyfe17 says: May 14, 2014 1:40 PM

    See ya week one hardy, meanwhile gordon is gone for a year for smoking

  2. b3nz0z says: May 14, 2014 1:45 PM

    when i was little i LOVED football, and as an adult i love football. as a teenager, not so much, and i’m starting to believe it had a lot to do with the fact that as a teenager i was forced to actually interact with football players as human beings. there are some awesome and charitable athletes in the NFL, but there are at least as many violent jerks.

  3. dublindemonszfl says: May 14, 2014 1:46 PM

    They could suspend him for failing to comply with the Anti Dumbass cause in his contract.

  4. jbaxt says: May 14, 2014 1:47 PM

    Ya, I’m sure teams are lining up for a guy who was just arrested and has a high cap hit. I hear teams are looking for Lawrence Phillips too.

  5. letsberealpeople says: May 14, 2014 1:51 PM

    It’s unfortunate that so many industries still put profit ahead of character.

    Recommendation to the NFL: Change the Default language in the contracts. Give the Players Union, not the teams, the rights to pursue money owed back from players due to default.

    When a character issue arises, the player and the team are materially impacted. The risk for teams will be too high to sign contracts with low character individuals. This will quickly clean up character issues in the NFL, and make it a collection of humans that are all respectable as individuals, and as a whole.

    Not sure if it is possible, given the owners control, but something similar should happen to make it too risky to sign low character players.

  6. fishyinalittledishy says: May 14, 2014 1:52 PM

    Whats going on in panther land were is the leadership. fire the coach he should know what his players are up to 24 /7

  7. newdayintampabay says: May 14, 2014 1:53 PM

    Panthers are falling to the bottom of the division. Can’t wait. Worst to first. This is great news for the new and improved Bucs. SCAM Newton will no longer benefit from good field position and will be exposed.

  8. rrhoe says: May 14, 2014 1:54 PM

    I hate to say this but something is telling me this woman is not telling the truth.

  9. bennyb82 says: May 14, 2014 1:56 PM

    It is a little screwed up that Gordon and Blackmon could miss every game this year while Hardy plays every single one.

  10. chawkup says: May 14, 2014 2:00 PM

    The NFL has got to take a stronger stance on domestic violence. It is absolutely absurd that a dude beats the crap out of his wife/girlfriend and gets, at most, a suspension of a few games while another guy gets a year suspension for smoking pot. Guys like this do not deserve to be a part of the NFL.

  11. Duckhomie says: May 14, 2014 2:02 PM

    Pure garbage. And why the NFL will self destruct. There have never been so many personal conduct issues in the history of the league…as long as this type of story is above the fold, the perception of the NFL will be the bottom of the barrel.

  12. bennyb82 says: May 14, 2014 2:07 PM

    Sounds like he goes out and buys a new gun for every sack. Maybe he should reward himself with something else…

  13. claymatthewshairplugs says: May 14, 2014 2:08 PM

    Wow such talent wasted. This guy is going the Tank Johnson route. I think Hardy and Tank can form there own little army with their arsenal.

  14. kathleenturnersoverdrive says: May 14, 2014 2:13 PM

    Owning Guns isnt illegal last I checked. Why is that even mentioned.

  15. janvanflac says: May 14, 2014 2:14 PM

    What a psychopath. There should be a clause in EVERY contract that if you commit a felony, the contract is void. I cannot believe that there isn’t one already.

  16. thegreatgabbert says: May 14, 2014 2:20 PM

    Moral of this is, if you make your bed with a small arsenal, you have to sleep in it.

  17. hor2012 says: May 14, 2014 2:28 PM

    I played football in highschool. I was at best adequate as a LB I wished I had one tenth the talent these guys have and the throw it all away being stupid

  18. Norseman says: May 14, 2014 2:31 PM

    There should be required language in every NFL contract that a felony conviction immediately voids their contract, with suspension immediately following, from one-year to life depending on the severity of the crime.

  19. my1voice57 says: May 14, 2014 2:35 PM

    As a woman and a Panthers fan I take domestic violence very seriously but I would wait until all the facts are in before passing judgement. Is Greg possibly guilty of poor judgement, PROBABLY. But I’m not convinced of his guilt until I get more facts.

  20. holla2626 says: May 14, 2014 2:37 PM

    The title of the post is “Greg Hardy’s arrest leaves the Panthers with scant options”

    And then you go through the multiple options including this quote,

    “Drafting Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy in the second round last week, when he wasn’t as big of a need, gives them the flexibility to move Hardy if need be.”

    Scant options include flexibility?

  21. hawkstradamus says: May 14, 2014 2:41 PM

    The niners will come calling any second. They have no standards when it comes to player conduct.

  22. ravensfaninflorida says: May 14, 2014 2:41 PM

    I still say it’s time owners and coaches get penalized for their players conduct on and off the field. Maybe when these coaches and owners alike have issues with misconduct by a player and get fined themselves they would tolerate less of this stupid stuff. And the player will also realize that not only is he going to get fines or suspended but his team will pay the price also. When the team owners start getting fined maybe they will not tolerate this nonsense and be a little more wise who and who doesn’t play for them. These millionaire athletes have lost total control of what reality is !!!!

  23. redandgoldhitman52 says: May 14, 2014 2:48 PM

    this guy makes Aldon Smith look like a choir boy

  24. hanifmiller says: May 14, 2014 2:50 PM

    The NFL– the league where you can assault your girlfriends but never touch a receiver coming across the middle — good job of cleaning up the league Roger. Your plan seems to working only 2 reported domestic violence incidents this summer

  25. bcajun says: May 14, 2014 2:52 PM

    Alright the panthers have bit the dust…my saints are gonna take yall to the wood shed this season..WHO DAT BABY

  26. ilovefoolsball says: May 14, 2014 2:52 PM

    “He was such a good boy, he would never do such a thing.”

  27. icup89 says: May 14, 2014 2:59 PM

    A groupie NFL girlfriend would never lie after getting dump right?

  28. icup89 says: May 14, 2014 2:59 PM


  29. logast says: May 14, 2014 3:00 PM

    So what? I mean, the NFL and the Ravens have done absolutely nothing to Ray Rice. All he did was knock his fiancee, er, wife out cold in an elevator. Oh, and then drag her unconscious body around a bit.

    Maybe if these players were actually treated in a manner that corresponds with the offense, some of us fans wouldn’t be so cynical.

  30. ducksk says: May 14, 2014 3:06 PM

    A futon? With a large amount of guns. Perfect. HOF’er.

  31. harrisonhits2 says: May 14, 2014 3:06 PM

    There should be clauses in the player contracts that if they get arrested on serious felony charges such as beating a woman or having an arsenal of illegal firearms that they can be cut without penalty to the team.

    And that they can go after the player for salary paid in that given league year at the very least.

  32. tvjules says: May 14, 2014 3:07 PM

    Roger Goodell is only interested in minimizing players’ concussions… not those of the women who get them at the hands of his players.

  33. harrisonhits2 says: May 14, 2014 3:09 PM

    The NFL should also implement –

    Convicted of domestic violence ? Automatic 1 year suspension.

    Convicted a 2nd time ? Automatic 3 year suspension and good luck getting back into the league after 3 years of trying to condition yourself.

  34. riekki says: May 14, 2014 3:12 PM

    So Greg Hardy dialed 911 while he was beating the woman…I can’t wait to hear the audio of this call.

  35. officialgame says: May 14, 2014 3:12 PM

    They should call the Eagles, offer a 2nd and try to pry away Branden Graham. He’s not a fit for their 3/4 but he can make an impact in a 4/3 as a hands in the dirt pass rusher.

  36. eaglesfatboy says: May 14, 2014 3:15 PM

    Why is nobody talking about the guns more ?? There is substantial cause for a search warrant if he has so many possibly automatic assault guns !

  37. drdoom82 says: May 14, 2014 3:17 PM

    likely he won’t get jail time. Counseling and probation.

  38. sparky151 says: May 14, 2014 3:18 PM

    It would be hard to trade Hardy. The new CBA gives the NFLPA an independent right to veto trades of franchise tagged players. The union wants a free market for players and frowns on teams having to pay compensation to former teams for free agents. So expect a veto from the NFLPA if Carolina tries to trade Hardy.

  39. redandgoldhitman52 says: May 14, 2014 3:19 PM

    The niners will come calling any second. They have no standards when it comes to player conduct………….

    they would , but not for $11,000,000 this year.

  40. mrright1963 says: May 14, 2014 3:20 PM

    from 1st to worst in the league in one season.

  41. redandgoldhitman52 says: May 14, 2014 3:22 PM


  42. kimbo71006 says: May 14, 2014 3:24 PM

    An “accusation” does not a “conviction” make people.

    In this country you are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty.

    Anybody can make an accusation – it has to be proven to make it a fact.

    And BTW…I am a woman.

  43. leatherhead9 says: May 14, 2014 3:43 PM

    A large number of Duke Lacrosse players were considered guilty by the accusation of one woman, just saying.

  44. geegumby says: May 14, 2014 3:44 PM

    It’s amazing how everyone is jumping the gun and he hasn’t been convicted of anything. Is it so wrong to believe that she actually attacked him after he attempted put her out of his residence. He had a friend the with him also whom I’m sure can vouch for him. Being the reason why the friend held her down while he(Greg) himself called the police.

  45. imthaschmidt says: May 14, 2014 3:53 PM


    they only made the playoffs last year because the falcons had a terrible year. With the offseason Carolina had and Lovie Smith amping up TB i could see this team dead last in the division this year.

  46. jgedgar70 says: May 14, 2014 4:45 PM

    Again, stop to consider a few FACTS before you bloviate about how evil Hardy is.

    1) He was charged with a MISDEMEANOR, not a felony.
    2) The woman claims to be bruised and injured from head to toe. If she was beaten this badly, why didn’t her lawyer present photos to get a felony charge?
    3) Like a few others have said, whatever happened to “innocent until proven guilty?”
    4) A lot could have happened here. The police report says both of them were tore-down, sloppy drunk.

    I think both of them are lying. I think Hardy did strike her (probably did throw her against the tub and drug her out by her hair). Likewise, I think it’s possible she added a few injuries to herself (like Lynn Whitfield’s character did in “A Thin Line Between Love and Hate” to get Martin Lawrence’s character arrested).

    Regardless of what I or any of us think, let’s see what happens in court. One thing I am certain of – Hardy is not going to play all 16 games. If RG1 doesn’t suspend him, Jerry Richardson will.

  47. imnotsorryisaidthat says: May 14, 2014 6:40 PM

    That picture is reason enough to cut him

  48. icewalker946 says: May 14, 2014 7:05 PM

    I thought the league outlawed that kind of face paint (I know, off topic).

  49. djaehne says: May 14, 2014 9:20 PM

    and here I thought the Texans had it bad.

  50. gdeli says: May 14, 2014 9:39 PM

    Sorry Carolina you’re doomed!

  51. naes says: May 14, 2014 11:08 PM

    He should go to SF and be roommates with Aldon Smith. That would be a great reality show.

    Then in a couple years they could reprise their roles on MSNBC’s Lock Up.

  52. dubblelznhell says: May 15, 2014 1:15 AM

    Loser. 290 pounds and pushing around a woman half his weight and size.

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