According to a report from Pro Football Talk‘s Mike Florio, the Jacksonville Jaguars have had former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy in for workouts over the last two days. Hardy appeared in 12 games last season for the Cowboys, recording six sacks and an interception.
Jaguars kick tires on DE Greg Hardy; will public reaction influence decision whether to sign him? https://t.co/Az5ZqaZzLq
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) July 21, 2016
Hardy made his name with the Carolina Panthers after spending the first five seasons of his career in Charlotte. Greg recorded 34 sacks in those five seasons, with a career-high of 15 in 2013. Hardy should’ve been headed for a massive payday during the 2015 offseason, but he had some serious off-the-field issues that forced teams to shy away.
On May 13, 2014, Greg Hardy was arrested for assault and communicating threats against his ex-girlfriend, Nicole Holder. Holder alleged that Hardy grabbed her, threw her on a futon full of assault rifles, choked her and threatened to kill her. On July 15, 2014, a judge found Greg guilty of assaulting a female and communicating threats and sentenced to 18 months probation and a 60-day suspended jail sentence.
Hardy filed an appeal of the judge’s decision and requested a jury trial. Prosecutors were forced to drop the charges after Holder failed to appear in court and received credible intelligence that Greg and Holder had settled out of court.
The Panthers allowed Greg Hardy to play in the first game of the 2014 season, but then deactivated him for the second after the NFL made a strong push towards fixing the domestic violence problem that was running rampant in the league. Hardy would end up being placed on the commissioner’s exempt list for the rest of the 2014 season where he got paid, but wasn’t allowed to play.
In March 2015, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson made the executive decision to not re-sign Hardy after his off-the-field issues. Greg would become a free agent, but not for long, as he would sign a one-year $11.3 million deal on March 18, 2015 with the Cowboys.
On April 22, 2015, Goodell handed Hardy a 10-game suspension after a two-month investigation into the May 13 accusations. The NFL determined that there was enough evidence to prove that Greg committed physical violence against Holder, but the suspension was reduced to four games by an arbiter on July 10, 2015.
While Greg Hardy showed flashes of his talent last season with the Cowboys, he also showed his famed temper a number of times as well. Hardy got into a number of on-screen shouting matches with teammates and coaches that really makes one wonder if he really should be given another chance in the NFL.
The Jaguars plan to make a playoff push this season and could definitely use a veteran pass rusher with Hardy’s ability, but it seems like a major risk for such a young team to take. Bringing a guy with Greg’s explosive personality into a team full of youth could be a recipe for disaster if things begin to turn south.
— NFLonNBC (@SNFonNBC) July 22, 2016
At the same time, Florio reported back in May that Greg Hardy’s agent Drew Rosenhaus sent detailed information about counseling and psychiatric sessions that Hardy had been through this offseason to try and get things under control. Topics included his anger management, temper management, domestic violence, and evaluation for ADHD. Hardy also is learning more about impulsive decision making, and he is being assessed for personality, mood, learning, and speech disorders, according to Florio.
Ultimately, it will be up to the Jaguars to decide whether Hardy is a risk worth taking. If he is able to get his emotions under control and just focus on football, Greg could turn Jacksonville into a serious playoff contender. On the other hand, if Greg Hardy reverts back to his old ways, the young Jaguars would likely go down with him.
No pressure, Jaguars.
[Photo by Brandon Wade/AP Images]