Greg Hardy has been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion; however, what would potential teammates think of playing with the defensive player? That’s a question at least two well-known quarterbacks in the NFL have answered this week.
Blake Bortles weighed in on the current situation surrounding Greg Hardy, a man who was cleared of charges of abuse by former girlfriend Nicole Holder. Fansided asked the Jacksonville Jaguars’ starting quarterback how he would feel if Greg Hardy became his teammate.
“It’s a tough thing. I don’t know enough about it. I’ve seen some of the stuff and pictures … I don’t know enough to really comment about it.”
Troy Aikman, the Cowboys’ three-time Super Bowl championship quarterback in the 1990s, also gave his thoughts on Greg Hardy and how the player continues to see playing time in Dallas. In an interview with Dallas-based KTCK-AM 1310, Aikman said that productivity — not personal issues — dictate Jerry Jones’ decisions on players such as Greg Hardy, according to an article from Bleacher Report.
“I guess the line is when he’s no longer productive, you know? I think that’s always been the line for Jerry Jones, is he’s one to pretty much accept everything as long as a guy’s productive… I think over the years, if you just look at the history of the moves that have been made and the players that have come through, the indiscretion’s that if at some point he’s not productive, then he won’t be on the team any longer regardless of whatever it is that’s going on off the field, and if he is productive, then he’ll be here as long as he is.”
Some NFL players are enjoying their opportunity to play against him, only as a means to try and punish the player for the actions he’s charged with committing. In his most recent outing before playing the Tampa Bay Buccanneers Sunday, Philadelphia Eagles linemen enjoyed the opportunities to inflict punishment on Greg Hardy, ESPN reported.
Thoughts on how to fix the greater problems of having “bad guys” playing in the NFL is what the fans need to focus their anger toward Greg Hardy on now, a Shreveport Times columnist wrote this week. While he did not condone the actions, the writer said a greater reflection on how the NFL and its constituents arrived at this point is necessary.
“From Hardy to Holder to the justice system, the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys, journalists and Joe Fan, it’s time to be aware of the big picture and open productive discussions amid volatile, emotional circumstances. If not, we’re all bad guys in our own way.”
The Charlotte Observer reported on how Greg Hardy was cleared of criminal charges. A Supreme Court ruling from a decade ago paved the way as the accuser (the alleged abuse victim) must face Greg Hardy in court. Because Nicole Holder disappeared before the court proceedings, the case was dismissed.
That doesn’t mean he can’t be retried, the district attorney originally prosecuting the case said. With the charges being dropped at the time they were, the case could be retried without risking “double jeopardy” for Greg Hardy.
While there’s still a chance the NFL could punish Greg Hardy, the situation appears to be firmly in the hands of the Dallas Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones if further discipline is necessary. That appears less likely as the Cowboys have weathered the media and fan backlash to date without offering further actions.
NBC Sports provided some financial reasoning as to why Greg Hardy is still playing for the Cowboys. The $13.1 mil contract that he signed earlier this year is incentive-laden, providing bonuses for every game he plays plus for sacks during those games. For every game he plays, Greg Hardy is earning $600,000 in pay, a plan that relies heavily on bonuses to complement a relatively-small base salary. Bonuses of up to $1.4 mil for sacks could only be paid out at the end of the year, meaning that bonus would be null and void if the player fails to make the final roster.
Through his first four games, Greg Hardy has already earned over $3.6 mil. To cut him would allow the Dallas Cowboys to reduce their obligations on the remaining bonuses. For an effective pass rusher — and by all accounts, Greg Hardy is one — to have spent roughly the same amount the best NFL kickers will make this year is a bargain buy.
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