Should the Seahawks Consider Greg Hardy?

With one notable exception, the top players in free agency have signed. Pro Bowl DE Greg Hardy, however, remains available. The reason for that is as obvious as it is abhorrent - a history of off-field red-flags that includes a judge-ruled conviction for domestic battery. Pete Carroll and John Schneider have gambled on players with checkered pasts before. Is Hardy worth the risk?

Before taking a more detailed look at the argument, let's establish two obvious points.

For one, under Carroll and Schneider, the Seahawks have taken a hard line against players with domestic violence charges.

Second, Greg Hardy is not just another player.

A series of ugly domestic violence charges this year against some of the NFL's most recognizable players has deservedly made this even more of a hotbed issue than in the past. And the details of Hardy's charges, judge-ruled conviction and the speculated manner in which the case was overturned are troubling.

As such, it would be easy to simply eliminate the Seahawks as a candidate for Hardy. Some rival scouts asked to assess the possibility of Seattle pursuing the 26-year old simply brushed off the question because of how adamant some within the VMAC have been on this front.

However, Carroll has a soft spot for troubled youth and has undergone (and won) with several so-called character concerns in the past. Could he be intrigued by Hardy? Could Carroll's passion and leadership be the guidance Hardy needs?

And what if the ex-girlfriend who initially made the charges wasn't simply paid off to remain quiet as our cynical side would suggest? What if some of the horrific details were in fact exaggerated?

Would having a conversation with Hardy to hear his perspective tarnish Seattle's legacy?

Would it matter if by signing him, the Seahawks' legacy might include a second Super Bowl ring?

Make no mistake, Seattle could use reinforcements along the defensive line and Hardy could offer the same kind of boost to the defense that Jimmy Graham is expected to provide on offense.

The 26 combined sacks he recorded over the 2012-13 seasons were no fluke. He is a powerful, coordinated athlete at 6-4, 275 pounds who proved one of the elite players in the SEC during an injury-plagued career at Mississippi.

He would up slipping to the sixth round because of several factors but not his talent. The Panthers ultimately selected Hardy ultimately to complement Julius Peppers. Instead he replaced him as Carolina's best pass rusher.

He's in his athletic prime and presumably hungry for a chance to redeem himself on and off the field. Playing for a contender with Seattle's firepower and forged locker room could provide the environment he needs to do precisely that.

Peter King reported that there is a "good chance" Hardy will be suspended for the first six games of the 2015 season for the initial conviction. Hardy's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, will be trying to get his client a multi-year deal but given the toxicity the pass rusher brings, no club is going to agree to a deal without an easy opt-out clause.

A player like Hardy would normally fetch a deal outside of Seattle's budget. Given his past, Hardy may not have many serious suitors. Rosenhaus claims that six clubs have expressed interest and there were reports late Monday that the Dallas Cowboys are negotiating with Hardy right now.

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