— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) February 28, 2014
GM Dave Gettleman:
“We have had great dialogue with both Greg and his agent. It was important to keep our defensive front together.”
HC Ron Rivera:
“We are very pleased that Greg will be back with the Panthers next season. Greg was a big reason we were able to lead the league in sacks last year and keeps our defensive line intact.”
Pro Football Talk, citing a league source, is reporting that the Panthers have informed DE Greg Hardy that they are using their franchise tag on him.
- ESPN’s Adam Schefter has confirmed that the Panthers are franchising Hardy.
- According to the Charlotte Observer, the Panthers are expected to continue working on a long-term extension for Hardy in the coming months.
- Albert Breer reports that the franchise tag should run the Panthers close to $13 million in 2014.
Hardy, 25, was believed to be targeting a massive contract that could come close to Charles Johnson‘s six-year, $78 million deal, so the franchise tag would obviously make sense.
Last year, he totaled 59 tackles, 15 sacks and a forced fumble over the course of 16 games for the Panthers. Pro Football Focus had him rated as the No. 3 defensive end in a 4-3 scheme.
The tag should cost the Panthers close to $12.6 million guaranteed next season. We had Hardy listed as the No. 2 player in our Top 50 Free Agents list.