With everything that has gone wrong in the league and the potential backlash that awaits the Buccaneers (or any other team) if they draft Jameis Winston, bringing in a player with off the field issues can be a huge risk. That is why teams doing their due diligence is critical when it comes to signing a player like soon-to-be-former Carolina Panthers’ defensive end Greg Hardy.
As news started developing on Hardy’s jury trial in his domestic violence case -- which was starting Monday morning -- the trial ended before it even had a chance to start. The problem was Hardy’s accuser was unable to be located. That sparked several theories with one of them being as reported that a settlement may have been reached.
So how do the Bucs tie into all this? They don’t. At least not yet. Will they ever be mentioned as a potential new landing spot for the 26-year-old? Maybe. And without considering the accusations, there is a likelihood that happens.
No, that’s not to say that it will. In this politically correct world we now live in, we have to be careful with how we push an unpopular opinion. Given the misconception of what his demands will be, Hardy could have once looked for a contract worth more than $10 million per season. But that won’t be the case anymore which makes Tampa Bay a potential landing spot.
The likelihood of a suspension may also not happen. Aside from his charges being dismissed, it’s important to point out that Hardy was found “guilty” by a judge in an earlier hearing so that the case can be moved to a jury trial, a common practice. It is something that has already been reported and another reason why the NFL may not take any further action on him.
Contracts get written up for players to get paid. They also get written up with verbiage to protect a ball club. Will the Bucs and every other team in the NFL write up the contract to protect themselves against any potential future problems? You better believe they will.
Did Hardy really “pay off” his accuser? What made the accuser say back in November she did not want to go to trial? Why did the prosecution admit to not having enough evidence? Those are all questions left for the court of public opinion to debate. Yet they are questions teams would most certainly be looking into.
With all that said, don’t be surprised if Hardy gets a look from the Bucs and perhaps even a contract.
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