Greg Hardy skates — and is he worth the risk for Falcons? (No)

Greg Hardy leaves court in Charlotte after domestic violence charges against him were dismissed. (AP photo)

Greg Hardy leaves court in Charlotte after domestic violence charges against him were dismissed. (AP photo)

Greg Hardy leaves court in Charlotte after domestic violence charges against him were dismissed. (AP photo)

Welcome to celebrity justice.

In July, Carolina defensive end Greg Hardy was found guilty of assault and communicating threats to a female in Mecklenburg (N.C.) County court. In the North Carolina court system, he was allowed to appeal that decision to superior court. Monday was to be Day 1 of the trial. But the charges were dismissed. Why? Because prosecutors could not locate its primary witness, Nicole Holder, Hardy’s former girlfriend, who reportedly reached a settlement.

It was a legal win for Hardy, a likely financial win for Holder and a loss for those who fight for tougher laws against domestic violence.

This puts NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in a difficult spot. Hardy, who had 15 sacks in 2013, was put on the commissioner’s exempt list after one game last season. That effectively was a suspension with pay, pending the outcome of legal proceedings. So while Hardy didn’t play most of last season, he received his full salary of $13.116 million.

The Panthers are not expected to put the “franchise tag” on Hardy again, effectively allowing him to become a free agent in March. But Goodell theoretically could still suspend him for several games, based on Hardy’s first conviction and a belief that he bought his way out of a second one. In a similar situation, Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson was on the commissioner’s exempt list, accepted a plea deal on child abuse charges in November and expected to return to the Vikings, only to have Goodell suspend him for at least the remainder of the season.

There were red flags on Hardy’s character going back to his days at Mississippi. That’s why he was only the 175th player (sixth round) taken in the 2010 draft. But he has been a productive player at Carolina, with escalating sack totals of 3, 4, 11 and 15 before last season.

Will the Falcons’ pursue him? Not likely. Despite their obvious need to improve the pass rush, Hardy is a huge risk. While it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Falcons begin to take more chances on some players with character issues, Hardy seemingly has too much baggage to make it through their filter. It also would be a high financial risk, given the salary he may command.

But for now, Hardy and every team is on hold until Goodell decides what to do next.

Question: Do you think the Falcons should enter the bidding for Hardy?

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Reader Comments 0

57 comments
tyger
tyger

Sign Hardy yesterday...


Should've drafted him 5 yrs ago...

Proven commodity entering prime...

Locks down problem area...

Frees up 1st rd. draft pick...

Hurts division rival...


Hardy is NOT GUILTY...

NOT GUILTY means NOT GUILTY!!!!


Granted, signing slippery slope...

but use incentive-laden, back-ended contract...

So if he misses a few games up front it wont hurt...


Off-season cache:

Greg Hardy DE, Bryon Maxwell CB, Brandon Scherff OT, 

Shawn Oakman DE, Denzel Perryman LB, Devin Smith WR,

Ryan Harris OT, Robert Myers C, 

tyger
tyger

The ridiculousness of it all...


Not guilty in court, but still guilty in NFL...

When did NFL usurp the Constitution?

This is some bizzaro parallel universe isht...


If your'e found guilty, fine, NFL sticks it to you...

Not guilty, too bad, NFL sticks it to you...


WTF?



notPlanB
notPlanB

Speaking of the draft as some are, the way I am reading the restructuring, TD will still be picking the players. Pioli will be scouting and Quinn's only job is to take what TD has put on the field for preseason (approx. 90 players) and choose which 53 he keeps. If this is correct, screw the mgmt. TD IS THE PROBLEM !!!!!!! It is documented !!!!!!

Gopher86
Gopher86

Sign him and Todd Gurley sure looks a lot better in round 1 at the bottom, if we can trade out the 8th pick and get a second 2nd and the say catch him at pick 22.

Gopher86
Gopher86

Why do we continue to punish these guys in the MEDIA, when the system has said, "Not Guilty"? I always thought that was the purpose of the Justice system. Day in and out we see Ladies take advantage of these rich athletes, and they continually get MEDIA SLAMMED. Why? The truth about domestic situations is Nobody knows the complete truth.

odoggQ
odoggQ

Let's meet with him and determine if he's sincere about changing his life and behavior for the better. Structure a short term contract with an option and bonuses if he stays out of trouble (not get suspended and on active roster).


Matthew 18 

21Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" 22Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23"For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves.…

Borodawg
Borodawg

@odoggQ So, just how do we "determine if he's sincere about changing his life and behavior"?  Because he says he's changed?


I'm starting to agree with getting him, but only at a reduced salary.  You also have to realize that Goodell will probably come down on him hard, according to the pundits.


Is he even available?

Earhardnt_Fan
Earhardnt_Fan

I realy thing the Flacons shuld try 2 sigh him as they realy need him 2 imporve the defence. Lets here his side of the story chances R she was mouthin off 2 him and U just dont do that to a Nfl palyer.

cekirk2356
cekirk2356

Not NO but HELL NO! While he's a heck of football player he carries too much risk.  As a team we have so many needs that even if we had this guy he would not put us over the top. You can put the following in either order of 1 & 2;  He is not out of the woods with the law, if it is determined that he paid her off to keep quiet, that is obstruction of justice and a serious offense.  Goodell is going to wack him with the heaviest penalty that he can get away with, count on it!

gfw
gfw

Bottom line:  if Hardy were to be signed, there wouldn't be an empty seat in the stadium that would have been full if he hadn't been, but there would be many seats that would be full that would have been empty if he were not signed.  So as a business decision (and what aspect of all this is NOT a "business decision"?) we should sign him.  The guy is at or near his peak, and he's a monster pass rusher, often drawing two blockers.  Some teams won't go near him (probably the Falcons included) and all that will mean is that he'll go for a little discount to whatever team wins the bidding war. 

williar
williar

Not worth the risk? I guess Suh is? Sign him now! He scares the crap out of every QB in our division.

GT71
GT71

Sign him

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

If the Falcons could sign both Hardy and Houston this will allow them to draft OT Brandon Scherrf with first pick.


GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

STARTER DL


HOUSTON, SOLIA, BABS, HARDY


RESERVE


MASSAQUIO, PETERS, HAGEMAN, #70 HAUOLI KIKAHA


GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



devounknown1000
devounknown1000

I had already said the 2 most important piece this off season is not 2 sign 1 DE but 2.


HARDY AND HOUSTON NEED TO BE A FALCON COME 2015 SEASON.


GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



devounknown1000
devounknown1000

Go get Hardy, stop holding accountable unnecessary explosion or convicting some one with out giving them a second chance.


Hardy is a beast with a little edge and a pure solid edge rusher that make this defense better on day one.


GO GET HARDY.


GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

patriotdog
patriotdog

Why would you sign a player who will be: 1) An embarrassment to the team and, 2) most likely to miss games due to boneheaded acts.

D End is a position that can excel straight out of college, draft one.

JSSN
JSSN

@patriotdog

You mean Sean Weatherspoon? There is no DE in this draft that is going to do what you want!

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

So Nick Saban is evil for giving Taylor a chance but Hardy is good to go for the Falcons.


You're pathetic.

Zing
Zing

No!  We don't need a thug on this team that is liable to beat some other girlfriend of his.  So, that would be: (1) No, because he's too big a risk, and (2) he's just a bad dude that no one wants around.

tlmaddox
tlmaddox

@Zing Sometime I wonder if we should not have a few thugs on the team - just make their pay contingent on their not doing thuggish acts during the game...

Falcons4Eva
Falcons4Eva

Character be damn.  Championships is what I want. No More Excuses...


If New England can accept the likes of Legarrett Blunt, Randy Moss, and a few other sorted characters, then so can we.  Git 'er done!

caneowar
caneowar

@Falcons4Eva 


What he said. Screw the boy scout route. We need bad azzes, not bad talent.

SeanLB
SeanLB

I knew we were in trouble when I already heard TD spewing nonsense about how "imperative it was for us to re-sign Sean Weatherspoon."


Um, didn't learn from your first double-down mistake, huh, Tommy?  Just because you offer them a lucrative deal doesn't change the fact that you missed on the pick.



carlc599
carlc599

obvious UGA fans wanting to sign low character players. it's what they're used to

candlin14
candlin14

To Atlanta Fans and Jeff Schultz:


If you are arguing that Hardy doesn't belong in the ATL because of his domestic violence charge that is one thing, but if he is available at the right price, WE 100% COULD USE HIM ON THE FIELD!!!


Wake up Atlanta!!! Our image needs to take a hit for once. If Adrien Peterson is available at a good price, SIGN HIM!!! If Hardy is available at a good price, SIGN HIM!!! If Aaron Hernandez somehow was released of all his charges and reinstated, and was available at a good price, SIGN HIM!!!! Do you want to win Atlanta or do you want to pay for LOSSES!!!!!! Its time to start putting a hard nosed product on the field. I am tired of watching and listening to idiots like Roddy White... TALK TALK TALK and never back it up on the field... 


WAKE UP ATL!!!!

BLowE12
BLowE12

In all seriousness, We do not need to have OFF the Field Drama in this house! Sue vs. this guy do not compare as all of Sue's issues, all-be-it were bush league, are on the field and contend to the in-game environment. 

LeftisnotRight
LeftisnotRight

Our legal system was used......justice served. If the victim doesn't care.........

RangeRover
RangeRover

Pass...

He's not just a repeat female abuser, anyone that would wear sneakers with a two piece suit to court is simply too stupid to be on my team.

BLowE12
BLowE12

@RangeRover I am glad you brought the Sneakers with the Suit angle to the table. I COMPLETELY missed that one! 

crackbaby
crackbaby

NFL should ban him for life.  Excerpts of testimony from his trial are enough. 

BravesFan79
BravesFan79

No way on Hardy!   Who the Falcons need to go after is the big DT from Auburn who plays for Detroit.  Detroit cannot afford to keep both him and Suh.  

candlin14
candlin14

@BravesFan79


I pray you are not talking about the over weight Nick Fairley who has done nothing while at Detroit!!!

ChefTimDix
ChefTimDix

If I'm Coach Quinn I want the Magnificant Seven regardless and have Ray Lewis conduct the interviews.

Ersatz
Ersatz

I'm sure the wine-and-cheese crowd paying $45,000 in PSLs can identify with an abusive player like this, assuming they ever leave the bar in the club section to watch the game.

JSSN
JSSN

@Ersatz

Careful, he personally bought 3 suites and a block of 45 PSLs along with buddies Chipper and Alex Jones.

DrPhill
DrPhill

The Ravens or Patriots would be a good fit.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

It's worth pointing out that he was found guilty by a judge, not a jury.   That was the basis of his appeal.


As for his appeal as a football player, I'm unclear as to what the risk here is.   That he'll hit another girl and get suspended?   Maybe.  But if you can get a player who produces like he does for a discounted rate, I think we'll learn (again) that the NFL is about wins and losses, not (lack of) character.


There are GMs and coaches out there who need to win badly enough, because their bosses demand that they do so or lose their jobs, that they'll give Hardy a chance.   Unless or until owners and their customers change their position on winning at all costs, players like Hardy will continue find work.   Want someone to blame?   Look in the mirror.

JSSN
JSSN

@GeorgeStein

These are the same people who said Cliff Avril wasn't going to be any good or behave in Seattle. The same goes for Bruce Irvin! You have a coach who seems to be able to get volatile personalities to perform and generally remain active unlike Smith! Let him coach and form the roster!

ATL89
ATL89

For the right price the Pats will pick him up, but if he's cheap enough....I don't know, this is a hard one.  On second thought I would have to put myself in the position of this lady's Father, Brother, Son, Cousin, Grandfather, or Uncle, in that case, No!

BLowE12
BLowE12

On second thought I would have to put myself in the position of this lady's Father, Brother, Son, Cousin, Grandfather, or Uncle, in that case, No!


@ATL89 Is that before or after she bought you a new car with her new "found" money? lol

GMAB
GMAB

No divas or criminals.