Like quarterback Cam Newton, Panther defensive end Greg Hardy is also in New York, taking a bite out of the Big Apple. Both men have logged some serious time on airplanes in the past week, having played in the Pro Bowl in Hawaii Sunday.
"I'm here to see everybody and be seen," Hardy told me Thursday afternoon. He sported a gray suit with a name tag attached that read "Kraken!"
Hardy, an unrestricted free agent, said he and the Panthers have not begun contract negotiations.
"They are still working on their cap situation as I understand," he said. "We're playing the waiting game right now.... If they can afford me, man, I'd love to be there. That's my team. My family. We got a good thing going right now."
I continue to hope the Panthers will manage to find a way to keep Hardy, who tied a team record with 15 sacks in 2013. The franchise tag would be one possibility. But it is possible that Hardy will also be allowed to walk away for big money somewhere else.
As for his "Kraken" nickname, Hardy said more and more people are referring to him that way now, which, he said, is "what I want."