- Voth mentions that many of his teammates want him back as well, and some of them are “starting to lean on Jerry Richardson” about retaining him.
- Hardy reportedly has support from team leaders and “guys who have Richardson’s ear.”
This comes after a report from Jason Cole of the Bleacher Report mentioned that Panthers HC Ron Rivera would like to speak to management about re-signing Hardy in the coming weeks, if it’s at all possible.
While Hardy returning to Carolina is still unlikely, Voth writes that the door isn’t completely shut either.
In the end, Hardy being back with the Panthers could come down to his willingness to accept less in terms of salary, which may be a big sacrifice depending on the level of interest from prospective teams in free agency.
In Cole’s report, he said that 5-8 teams are likely to have interest in Hardy this offseason. However, he admits that there could be some language included in his next contract regarding conduct issues.
After all, there is still a chance that the NFL could hand down punishment for his role in the domestic violence incident that led to a recent settlement.
Hardy, 26, will be an unrestricted free agent for the second straight season. Last year, the Panthers used their franchise tag on the defensive end, which paid him a salary of $13.116 million for the 2014 season.
To use the designation on Hardy for the second straight season, it would cost the Panthers close to $15.7 million guaranteed.
Hardy wound up appearing in just one game and recorded four tackles, one sack, and a forced fumble before he was placed on the commissioners expect list.
We have Hardy listed as the No. 7 player in our Top 75 Free Agents list.