In a perfect world, the Carolina Panthers would have worked out a long-term deal for Greg Hardy that would have softened his salary-cap hit for 2014 and kept the ascendant pass rusher under lock and key for years to come.
Instead, the team slapped Hardy with the franchise tag last week and, on Tuesday, the defensive end agreed to it, signing the one-year tender that will earn him $13.116 million, a source briefed on the deal told NFL Media's Albert Breer.
Hardy said all along that he wouldn't be opposed to the tag, but Breer noted that the 25-year-old defender will continue to negotiate a long-term pact with the Panthers.
After tying a team record with 15 sacks last season, Hardy was one of four players league-wide to receive the franchise tag and the first to ink it, leaving Carolina with a pile of money invested in its edge rushers and a tough decision to make down the road.
For now, though, Carolina's defensive front remains a signal-caller's nightmare.