Franchising Greg Hardy was a logical move for the Panthers. 25-year-old freak athlete pass rushers don’t come around often. Yet the same guy capable of making offensive tackles look silly is also the same guy capable of instragramming a picture of his Bentley’s speedometer reading over 100 miles per hour. That happened a year after crashing a motorcycle. Greg Hardy is a loose cannon. While $13 million a year sounds about right, it’s hard to blame the Panthers for not wanting to lock into that rate long-term.
Here’s a look at the numbers:
- $29,000,000 is what the Panthers will pay for Charles Johnson and Hardy’s services next year. That’s a hefty cost no matter how many sacks they produce.
- $13,000,000 is the figure most are quoting for Hardy’s one-year deal. It will be the average salary of the top five highest paid defensive ends.
- 74 days since Greg Hardy said he would give the Panthers a “hometown discount.”
- 60 days since he told the Charlotte Observer he wanted a “big number.”
- 47 games played over his last three seasons, he’s remarkably durable.
- 26 sacks over his last two years, that’s fifth most in the NFL.
- 15 percent of snaps at positions other than right defensive end, this shows his versatility. Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott enjoys moving Hardy to defensive tackle in obvious passing downs.
- 6th best 4-3 defensive end against the run, according to Pro Football Focus.
- 2 sacks recorded against elite pass blockers, according to Colin Hoggard and Daniel Guy. The majority of his sacks came against guards, mediocre tackles and tight ends.
- 1 back-breaking, or rather rib-breaking, hit on Carson Palmer. That happened over a year ago and I’m still mad. It wasn’t a penalty.
I would cringe if the Panthers let Greg Hardy walk, or if they signed him to 4 years $52 million. Hopefully one of more year of data helps Gettleman make the right call.