Hardy’s trial for misdemeanor domestic violence charges will begin on Monday. He would receive a six-game suspension from the NFL if he’s found guilty.
Even with the charges he’s facing, people around the league still expect there to be a decent amount of interest in him once free agency is open for business, assuming he’s not found guilty.
“It’s foolish to think that someone won’t (sign Hardy), assuming a not-guilty verdict,” said ESPN analyst Bill Polian. “But it’s also foolish to think there won’t be ramifications to it.”
Person writes that a second guilty verdict for Hardy would likely have a major impact on level of interest from teams in free agent.
However, Joel Corry of CBS Sports is more optimistic about Hardy based on how productive he’s been in recent years.
“Hardy’s going to get more of the benefit of the doubt just because he’s a Pro Bowl-caliber player in his prime. So that’s going to tip the scales for some owners that [think], I know you’ve got issues, but this guy can really play. If he couldn’t really play, he might be out of the league,” Corry said.
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.
He 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.