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NFL Notes: Panthers, Browns & Packers

Panthers

Carolina Panthers DE Greg Hardy is set to face trial on Tuesday for a domestic violence dispute that occurred in May with ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder, per Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer.

Holder accuses Hardy of, “throwing her to the floor and into a bathtub, strangling her, slamming her into a futon that was covered with guns, and threatening to shoot her if she told anyone about the fight.”

Hardy, 25, could face up to 60 days in jail if charged with domestic violence. When arrested, Hardy was charged with two misdemeanors of communicating threats and assaulting a female. In addition, Hardy released “over 10 guns, including at least six military-type, semi-automatic rifles and three 12-gauge shotguns,” according to the police order.

Panthers will allow the legal process to play out before implementing any possible punishment for Hardy.

Hardy was franchised tagged this offseason for $13.116 million after tying a franchise record 15 sacks. With the deadline for teams to sign players to long-term extensions on Tuesday, Carolina has shown no inclination that they are pursuing Hardy.

We have Hardy listed as the No. 4 player in our top 25 list of 2015 free agents.

Browns

Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has come to an agreement with the U.S. Government regarding charges of diesel fuel rebate fraud with his company Pilot Flying J.

The agreement with Pilot Flying J includes a monetary penalty of $92 million to be paid over the next two years and will require the company to cooperate with investigations. In return, Haslem’s company will not be prosecuted.

“The terms of this agreement, including the significant monetary penalty and the very serious consequences if Pilot fails to comply, demonstrate quite clearly that no corporation, no matter how big, influential, or wealthy, is above the law. In addition, the company’s agreement to fully cooperate with the United States, including its obligation to identify its employees’ criminal conduct, will assist the ongoing federal investigation. The agreement ensures that Pilot’s extensive remediation efforts will continue until all trucking company victims have received full restitution and until Pilot has demonstrated to the United States that it has implemented sufficient internal controls to prevent this kind of fraudulent conduct from ever occurring again,” via Knox News.

There was some initial speculation that Haslam could have been forced to sell the Browns depending on how this situation played out. However, the NFL has stood behind Haslam through the proceedings.

Packers

Rob Demovsky of ESPN writes that the Green Bay Packers goal for the 2014 season is to ramp up their offense to 75 plays per game.

I’ve always been of the belief of getting as many shots as you can, so we’ve always emphasized playing as fast as you can,” said HC Mike McCarthy. “When you have as many three-down players as you can possibly have, obviously your substitution patterns are cleaner. You’re not subbing because you have to, you’re subbing just when you need to.”

Green Bay averaged 67.125 plays per game throughout the 2013 season, McCarthy’s second highest total in eight seasons as head coach.

Demovsky notes that when QB Aaron Rodgers is under center, the Packers average 69 plays per game.

Aaron Rodgers is a beast the way he plays the game, the way he attacks the defense, whether it’s his cadence, his ability to recognize defenses to take advantage of a certain pressure, and then on top of it he’s so well-rehearsed in this offense,” McCarthy said.

Green Bay ranked No. 11 in plays-per-game average last season. They also ranked No. 3 in total yards and yards per game while also posting the No. 6 passing attack, despite the fact that Rodgers missed nearly half the season.

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