According to Jason Cole of the Bleacher Report, the NFL is going to do everything they can to ensure that Panthers DE Greg Hardy will serve some form of a suspension stemming from his domestic abuse case.
As of now, the NFL sent a letter requesting all documents pertaining case and is in the process of doing their due diligence to prevent another Ray Rice situation.
Cole mentions that the victim in this case, who ultimately reached a settlement with the defensive end, wants no part of the situation and is unlikely to come forward.
Hardy and his representation would like to get this situation settled and behind them by March 5, which gives them five days to prepare for the start of free agency and gauge his market.
The Panthers are reportedly still in the process of deciding if they want to bring him back next year. Though, coaches and players on the team have said that they would like to have Hardy back in 2015.
Owner Jerry Richardson has reportedly resisted that idea thus far.
Bill Voth of the Black and Blue Review reported a few days ago that Hardy has “made it clear to the Panthers he wants to return.”
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.
Cole previously report that 5-8 teams are likely to have interest in Hardy this offseason. However, he admitted that there could be some language included in his next contract regarding conduct issues.
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.