Friday, February 28, 2014

You have to keep Greg Hardy

The Carolina Panthers have to find a way to keep Greg Hardy for 2014. UPDATE: The Panthers announced Friday afternoon they have used their franchise tag on Hardy.

That is the bottom line. There are lots of arguments on why to do it and why not to do it, but here's the simplest reason why: If they lose Hardy, then they just have to embark on a desperate search to find his replacement.

I was talking to a former Panther who watches the team closely the other day and we were discussing this issue. I said more or less that exact same thing, and the former Panther laughed and said: "Ha!! There's no way they find another one if they let him go. Absolutely none."

He's right. Hardy is a relentless pass-rushing force -- one of the top five players on the Panther team. And he makes Charles Johnson better on the other side because teams don't know where to concentrate their blocking. If you can't sign Hardy to a long-term deal, you use that franchise tag on him, gulp and pay him $13 million for a single season if you have to. The Panthers have until Monday at 4 p.m. to decide whether to do that.

I know he wants an awful lot of money long-term. But he's also in his prime at age 25. And he's had 26 sacks the past two years. You put some "good conduct" clauses in the contract -- Hardy has a quirky personality, we all know that, and the Panthers have to protect themselves to ensure he doesn't have another motorcycle acident or whatever -- and you get him for the long term. Or you franchise him and get him for the short term and postpone the ultimate decision. But there's no way you let him walk out the door. I hope all the maneuvering the Panthers have done salary-cap wise the past few days has been in large part to get money to pay Hardy, because that guy is worth it. As Coach Ron Rivera said last week: "One thing you always want to try to do is keep your strength strong. Our defensive line was very strong for us."

The Panthers are built around their defense, which was ranked No.2 in the NFL last season. If Hardy leaves, there is no way it will be ranked No.2 again. Keeping him for 2014 can happen, and it needs to happen.


rick truesdale said...


Anonymous said...


Rick said...

Wrong. Hardy is good but is he Jared Allen, Robert Mathis, Julius Peppers (in their primes) good? Not really. With Johnson on one side and stud DT's in the middle you can find a replacement for hardy in the middle rounds of the draft or finder a cheaper stop gap in Free Agency.

Do you really think it is a coincidence that his numbers go up after we added two stud DTs last year? You Hardy lovers get over yourselves, if he can be had for 10 million a year or less than ok but if he is looking for 12 or more, no way. Too many other needs.

Anonymous said...

$10 mil a year or less for G. Hardy or nothing. The Panthers can't afford to be strapped for cash, it reminds me of the D. Will and J. Stew contracts. Also, C. Johnson needs to consider restructering for the benefit of the team, imho.

Anonymous said...

Charles Johnson needs to restructure his contract. Hurney had no business giving Johnson such an enormous contract... his agent knows better.