NFL free agency 2014: Greg Hardy to receive franchise tag from Panthers, according to report

Kevin C. Cox

It appears the Panthers will keep the band together, for at least one more year.

Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy will receive the team's franchise tag, according to Pro Football Talk.

Hardy broke out in 2013 with 15.0 sacks en route to a Pro Bowl appearance and being named second team All Pro. His future with the team was the Panthers No. 1 priority entering the offseason and it's likely the team will work with agent Drew Rosenhaus on a long term deal that will be more salary cap friendly.

Salary cap concerns are real. The issue was never whether the Panthers could retain Hardy with a franchise tag, but if they should. If Carolina is unable to trade Hardy or sign him to a long term deal his one-year contract will consume over half of the team's available money. Last year a defensive end franchise tag cost $11.2 million, which will likely rise in 2014.

This is a huge domino to fall and has mammoth ramifications for the team's ability to retain other priority free agents. Over 20 players remain without contracts from the 2013 team, including several starters. In real terms the Panthers can't afford to put together a competitive team with less than $10 million, but we've seen in the past that Dave Gettleman has found ways to free up space and find short-term options.

It's exciting to know Hardy is back in the fold, but also very scary.

SB Nation Featured Video
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Cat Scratch Reader

You must be a member of Cat Scratch Reader to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Cat Scratch Reader. You should read them.

Join Cat Scratch Reader

You must be a member of Cat Scratch Reader to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Cat Scratch Reader. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker