Greg Hardy is expected to receive significant interest on the free-agent market, but don't expect it to come from the Carolina Panthers.
Citing multiple team sources, The Charlotte Observer reported Saturday that the Panthers are not expected to bring back Hardy following a season in which the Pro Bowl defensive end sat out 15 games while on the Exempt/Commissioner's Permission List. Hardy landed on the seldom-used list following a domestic violence arrest for an incident that occurred last May.
Hardy's jury trial on misdemeanor domestic violence charges is scheduled to begin Monday. If found guilty, he'll likely face a six-game suspension under the league's updated personal conduct policy.
Prior to his legal troubles, Hardy had emerged as one of the best young pass-rushers in football. In 2013, he finished third in the league with 15 sacks. His ability, and prime age of 26, makes him an interesting free agency case in a post-Ray Rice NFL.
After paying Hardy more than $13 million for virtually nothing last season, the Panthers appear to have washed their hands of Hardy. Expect other teams to be eager to add a young, star pass-rusher to the mix.
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