It’s been a busy summer for Carolina Panthers‘ DE Greg Hardy. Nude selfies, a self-proclaimed start to a hip-hop career and being found guilty on alleged domestic abuse charges earlier this month is what’s drawing attention, rather than Hardy’s incredible football prowess.
According to Bill Voth at BlackandBlueReview.com, the Panthers will not suspend the busy defensive end stemming from his recent run-in with the law. The Panthers are rightfully following the NFL’s assessment of the case since it involves the judicial system and letting the system run its’ course.
These legal matters were extended when Hardy’s attorney appealed the ruling handed down, thus the case probably won’t be settled until early 2015. The message being sent by the NFL might initially seem like they are very “laissez-faire” in the domestic abuse against women arena, but until the final decision comes down after appeal, each player is due their time before a court of their peers.
Greg Hardy was only retained on a “rental” deal when the Panthers slapped the franchise tag on him earlier this offseason. At $13.1M, Hardy is occupying a serious chunk of change against Carolina’s cap.
The decision to not suspend Hardy allows the star defensive end to continue wreaking havoc against opposing offenses. 13 opponents around the league let out a collective sigh knowing that The Kraken will be unleashed against their respective offenses. Despite all of the swirling issues, Hardy is still a premier edge rusher just entering his prime. The Panthers will have to decide if the headache is worth the reward once the 2014 season expires.
Hardy’s court dates will probably extend into early 2015, so until that verdict is known, Kraken’s future with the Panthers will remain in limbo. With an estimated $29M tied up in he and Charles Johnson for 2014, it’s hard to imagine the Panthers continuing to pay even more money to lock down two players at the same position after this season concludes.
Odds are that the Panthers will turn their focus to Hardy’s on-field production as the season approaches, steer away from questions about his personal character and ride out his talent for this season. Johnson has been the more reliable and complete DE, so the Panthers will have a dilemma on their hands deciding who stays, and who goes next year.