However, Cole seems to think this is “extremely unlikely” that the league will go this route.
The NFL is expected to look into the settlement that was agreed to between Hardy and his ex-girlfriend, but it appears as though he will escape any sort of punishment.
Based on today’s decision to dismiss the charges against Hardy, Cole believes this will result him making around $15-20 million in guarantees this offseason, as long as there is no punishment handed down from the league.
Cole has spoken to sources who have said 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.
Cole mentions that 5-8 teams are likely to have interest in Hardy this offseason, but he admits that there could be some language included in his next contract regarding conduct issues.
Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer reported this past weekend that the Panthers are not expected to bring back Hardy next season, so we’ll have to see if Carolina tries to get something in place in the coming days.
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 Hard listed as the No. 7 player in our Top 75 Free Agents list.