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Report: Greg Hardy's Panthers career likely over

Pro Bowl defensive end Greg Hardy's season effectively ended when his assault trial was postponed until next year.

As an impending free agent assigned the franchise tag in 2014, Hardy's Carolina Panthers career is up in the air at age 26.

Citing multiple team sources, the Charlotte Observer's Joseph Person reports Hardy is unlikely to play for the Panthers in 2015.

Hardy was arrested on charges of assault on a female and communicating threats in May. He requested a jury trial after being found guilty by a judge in July.

Banished to the Exempt/Commissioner's Permission List after the season opener, Hardy has undermined his team's chances of repeating as NFC South champions.

Forced to operate on a shoe-string budget, in large part due to Hardy's $13.116 million salary under the franchise tag, general manager Dave Gettleman's hands were tied in rebuilding his offensive line, wide receiver corps and defensive backfield.

To this point, the Panthers have paid Hardy $6.17 million to not play.

Although Hardy is just a year removed from setting the franchise single-season record with 15 sacks, he's facing a cold free-agent market due to his legal situation and character concerns.

The events of the past six months have no doubt left a bad taste in Gettleman's mouth. It's hardly a surprise that he's reluctant to tie his fate to a talented but unreliable player.

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