On Thursday, Adrian Peterson got one step closer to being reinstated when Judge David Doty overruled NFL arbitrator Harold Henderson’s denial of Peterson’s appeal. The ruling today seemingly would be good news for Panthers’ defensive end Greg Hardy as well, who is currently on the Commissioner’s Exempt List.
Hardy was placed on the list after Week 2 due to a domestic violence case from last summer. The case was dismissed earlier this month when the accuser, Nicole Holder, refused to cooperate with the investigation. According to ESPN’s David Newton that with the news of the Peterson case, Hardy is now seeking immediate reinstatement.
Unfortunately for Hardy, the NFL does not see these two cases similarly and he could still face discipline stemming from this case. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in reference to the defensive end, "He [Hardy] hasn't been disciplined," McCarthy said. "There is nothing for him to ... seek reinstatement from at this point."
After being franchise tagged last offseason, Hardy is expected to become a free agent on March 10th. The likelihood of a return to Carolina seems unlikely, even though a number of veterans are in support of the move according to Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review.
The fact that Hardy’s case has not yet been resolved in the eyes of the NFL could have a major effect on how many teams are willing to pursue the 26 year old defensive end. Pass rushers are a high commodity in the NFL and especially ones who are still in the prime of their career. When these types of players hit the open market, it usually can create a lucrative bidding war among teams vying for their services.
The problem for Greg Hardy is that he has a potential suspension from the NFL looming over his head. It may be tough to find a team who is willing to commit a substantial contract until this is resolved. If this drags out deep into free agency and is finally resolved, there may not be many teams left with the cap space necessary to offer that mega deal for Hardy.