So What's Next for Greg Hardy?

USA TODAY Sports

Is a suspension from the NFL likely? Sports Illustrated legal analyst Michael McCann discusses the domestic abuse charges against Greg Hardy, how the NFL will handle the situation and if this shows a pattern of bad behavior.

Per McCann, Goodell will most likely request a meeting with Hardy to discuss the incident. Hardy is likely to request Goodell hold off a deciding any punishment until after the jury trial. Goodell will review Hardy's past, which is fairly clean based on public information but there might be non-public info we are not aware of.

If the review goes well they may wait until after the jury trial to make a decision but if Goodell should wait and then Hardy guilty verdict is upheld, the assumption is a suspension will probably come down. It would obviously not be enforced the 2015 season meaning whoever entertains the idea of signing Hardy to a long term deal will have the jury trial to worry about.

Based on McCann's assessment I think it is likely Hardy takes that route asks for Goodell to delay any action. He may try to hold off a civil suit from Holder until after the jury trial as well but even if acquitted expect a civil suit. My early thoughts were to go ahead and pay her off but that wouldn't help your case in front of a jury if it was made known.

That's the NFL angle. What about Panthers owner Jerry Richardson? Former Panther Frank Garcia weighs in:

DE Greg Hardy faces uncertain future with Panthers
"I think Jerry Richardson is turning in his bed deciding what decision to make right now," Garcia said. "And I think it's a 50-50 proposition. ...It has to be a disturbing thing for him and a disturbing thing for the Carolina Panthers." Garcia said the Panthers have been trying to clean up their image ever since the Carruth ordeal.

Another concern with Hardy is the accuser's statement she used cocaine the night Hardy assaulted her, leaving the team to wonder about the people he associates with off the field.

"Jerry Richardson doesn't mess around," Garcia said. "He wants a clean image. And we've seen it time and time again where they've bypassed quality free agents — guys who might have been able to come in and make an impact — just because of their image or something in their background."

I will say JR will be more lenient with one of his own provided he gets a warm and fuzzy from Hardy when they have their discussion of the court result. Garcia may be right about Hardy not getting a long term deal but I hope he doesn't cut him before this season. Let's give him his jury decision before making a final call.

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