Greg Hardy named NFC defensive player of week

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Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy was named NFC defensive player of the week Tuesday, but he’s about to earn something far more valuable.

Hardy’s 4.0-sack outburst against the Falcons helped the Panthers secure the NFC South title and a bye week, and continued a late-season surge.

Hardy has 7.0 sacks in the last two weeks, and 15.0 for the season in which he earned his first Pro Bowl invite.

That’s an impressive resume for a soon-to-be free agent, who had 11.0 sacks last year.

The 25-year-old former sixth-rounder should be one of the most sought-after free agents in the league, if the Panthers don’t use the franchise tag on him.