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NFL: Greg Hardy can sign contract while on Exempt List

Greg Hardy remains on the Commissioner's Exempt List, but that won't preclude him from partaking in free agency when it starts Tuesday.

League spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed that the soon-to-be free agent will be eligible to sign a new deal despite his status on the list:

"There's nothing to prevent a player on the Exempt list without a contract from signing a new one," Aiello said Thursday, via the Associated Press.

Free agency begins Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.

While Hardy might be allowed to sign a contract, his status remains in limbo. The NFL must decide if it will levy any punishment on Hardy after domestic violence charges against him, stemming from a 2014 summer conviction, were dismissed last month after North Carolina prosecutors said the accuser in the case couldn't be found.

Hardy met with the NFL on Wednesday to make his case for immediate reinstatement, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported. Any decision on that status has yet to be announced.

Hardy's uncertain standing will likely impact any team's desire to sign the former Pro Bowl pass rusher. The 26-year-old isn't eligible to play until he's off the Exempt List, and he could face a suspension. The length of any suspension or punishment would be important to teams debating on signing Hardy.

Those ramifications will be added to the trepidation franchises will likely encounter when deciding whether to sign a player accused of domestic violence.

While Hardy is allowed to sign a contract on Tuesday, it's unlikely a team would take a chance until other questions are answers.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast reacts to the LeSean McCoy-Kiko Alonso trade and what it means for the Eagles and Bills. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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