According to CBS Sports, the Carolina Panthers will likely not bring back defensive end Greg Hardy in 2015. If you remember, Hardy was a dominant force off the edge in 2013, but he hardly played last year due to domestic violence issues that arose.
"According to a report from the Charlotte Observer, the Carolina Panthers will not bring defensive end Greg Hardy back to the team next season. Hardy had been seeking a long-term contract with the Panthers around this time last year, but the team elected to place the franchise tag on him instead.Hardy then played only one game in 2014 before being placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List due to his domestic violence issues. Hardy was found guilty of assaulting and threatening to kill ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder last year. He appealed for a jury trial, which begins next week."
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If Hardy does in fact hit the open market this offseason, should the Patriots go after him? I personally don’t think New England should pursue him, but it is a question that is worth asking. Even though the Pats are Super Bowl champions, they are far from a perfect team. I think they can be even better in 2015, but they need some help, and adding more pass rush would certainly bring some benefits.
In his last 32 games played, Hardy has a whopping 27 sacks, and 123 total tackles. He was a menace out there earlier in his career, and he might be able to bring that to a team once again in 2015. Of course, if he is found to be guilty with his domestic violence issues, he will face a minimum six-game suspension from the NFL, and it could be worse. I think Hardy is scum, and a horrible person, but he will probably find work again somewhere in the NFL. Talent speaks volumes in this league, which unfortunately will likely result in Hardy landing another gig.
So with all of that said, let’s go back to my original question: should the New England Patriots target Hardy in free agency this year? I think they should stay the hell away from this dude. Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich are solid, versatile starters, and if the Pats bring Akeem Ayers back, that is three quality edge rushers they will have in the fold. And on top of that, all three are outstanding citizens and are the furthest thing from a distraction off the field.
No Hardy for us, thank you.