As the Panthers continue to play without defensive end Greg Hardy, they may be playing without him even longer than they had thought.
Per a league source, Hardy’s jury trial on domestic violence charges has been postponed. It had been set for November 17.
A judge previously found Hardy guilty via a preliminary trial so informal that the court doesn’t even create a transcript of the proceedings. Hardy has agreed to, as a practical matter, a suspension with pay pending the resolution of his case. He’s continuing to receive weekly installments of his $13.1 million franchise-tag salary.
According to the source, Hardy resisted the postponement. He wants to get the case behind him, so that he can return to football. Due to be a free agent after the season, Hardy will have a hard time making the case for a big contract on the open market if he hasn’t played since September.
The delay necessarily puts pressure on Hardy to strike a plea deal. But without a clear idea of the punishment the NFL would impose under the personal conduct policy, a plea bargain carries with it a high degree of uncertainty in the Court of Goodell.