Greg Hardy Suspended 10 Games: Impact and Next Steps


Jan 12, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy (76) on the field prior to the 2013 NFC divisional playoff football game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN just reported newly signed DE, Greg Hardy will be suspended 10 games for the upcoming season. The key signing of the offseason will now only be available for the last 6 games of the season and potentially postseason

In somewhat surprising news, the NFL has decided to suspend DE Greg Hardy for 10 games this season. Early speculation was that 6 games would be the likely penalty, but others hinted a larger suspension could be possible.

This news affects the Cowboys in multiple ways.:

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  • The contract Hardy signed requires him to be active week-to-week in order to get paid. The Cowboys are committed to pay him over $575,000 per week that he actually plays. This will have a positive impact on the Cowboys’ salary cap situation, but without free agent pass-rushers available to fill the void, the Cowboys would trade money for eligibility any day.
  • Hardy can work-out with the team this preseason but cannot play in preseason or regular season games. What kind of shape he returns in after week 10 will be interesting to see.
  • Obviously they will be without their newly signed pass-rusher for majority of the 2015 season and will need to draft accordingly to fill their biggest weakness.

Greg Hardy will be expected to appeal his suspension but no news yet on the timing of the appeal and what would happen in the meantime.

Last month I had this to say about the issue:

"Goodell can’t afford to screw this up and look like he’s going soft on domestic violence again. After going shamefully soft on domestic violence during his entire tenure, Goodell finally faced a public backlash for his mishandling of the Ray Rice incident.After initially suspending Rice an entire 2 games (sarcasm intended) for punching a woman in the face, a video tape was released showing everyone in the world exactly what that incident looked like. The public outcry was severe, and the dozens of domestic violence cases NFL players incur per year were exposed – As was the NFL’s pathetic stance on them. Goodell eventually extended the suspension but the damage was done, and many were calling for Goodell’s job.That’s what brings us to Greg Hardy.Roger Goodell could have very easily investigated and ruled on Hardy’s punishment weeks ago. The facts are out there and Goodell’s had the time and resources to get this done. He just hasn’t. He wants to know what we want first. To Goodell, this suspension is more about him, the commissioner, than about Greg Hardy, the offending player.Public perception has been changing as well. People who have taken the time to read the case, the testimony from the victim, and witnesses accounts, don’t feel good about calling Greg Hardy “innocent” anymore. Paying off a witness to leave town just leaves a bad taste in your mouth, ya know?Roger Goodell is waiting for this situation to stabilize before he rules what the most agreeable penalty would be. Many have speculated the suspension will likely be 6 games (Peter King, SI). Others (Stephen A Smith, First Take) have called for 8 games as a penalty. Still others say they wouldn’t be surprised if he was held out the entire year (Skip Bayless, First Take).What will it be?The recently redrafted domestic abuse policy says up to 6 games should be the punishment for a first-time offense, but Roger Goodell has been known to deviate when he sees fit.  For now, we sit back and wait. Roger Goodell is trying to figure out what the suspension should be and he’s looking to you, me, and the rest of the public to help him decide."

Case Summary: After being found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in the original bench trial, Hardy appealed, requesting a jury trial. In the interim, Hardy and the victim Nicole Holder were said to have come to a financial settlement. After which, Holder went missing, making herself unavailable for subpoena to testify in the jury trial. As with most domestic abuse cases where the victim refuses to testify, the case was dismissed and Greg Hardy went free.

Greg Hardy spent the 2014 NFL season getting paid by the Carolina Panthers under the franchise tag, but only actually played in one game after being placed on the commissioner exempt list.

Next: Greg Hardy Case Details

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