Greg Hardy remains the center of an NFL investigation stemming from his domestic violence case, now the Panthers' defensive end will have a chance to speak with officials face-to-face. The 26-year-old is in New York on Wednesday, presumably to give his side of the story to the league in hopes of being removed from the commissioner's exempt list.
It's a critical meeting for Hardy in attempting to get his football career back on track, but unlikely to move the needle with the Panthers organization, regardless what the fruits of his labors at. At best he'll be reinstated and become a free agent, at worst he'll remain exempt or be given an official suspension. Either way his chances of returning to Carolina are slim.
There has been no motivation from the organization to re-sign Hardy, which is likely a two-fold issue. Firstly because of the money he'd command in free agency if reinstated, secondly because his conduct was detrimental to the Panthers in 2014. The issue isn't so much that charges were dropped against him, but more because he found himself in a situation that was allowed to escalate. Players need to insulate themselves against negative circumstances, that's part of their job -- he failed to do that.
The tertiary issue is a simple one: The Panthers have bigger fish to fry. While boasting a strong pass rush is a core tenet of Dave Gettleman's team building beliefs, that also comes at a huge cost. It's a lot easier to bear $14 million in pass rushers when one of them is making $1M, that becomes complicated when the figure doubles. This notion is further exacerbated by several talented, high-profile defensive ends hitting free agency -- many of whom could be had at a fraction of what Hardy will command, even if their talent level is less than what the incumbent brings to the table.