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February 17, 2014

Will Panthers use franchise tag on Greg Hardy?

The first day of franchise tag season has come and gone with no new developments in the contract situation with Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy.

Monday was the first day teams could tag players, and Hardy is thought to be a possible target for one on the heels of his franchise record-tying 15 sack season.

The Panthers have two weeks to decide whether to use the tag on Hardy, at the cost of approximately $12.5 million -- all guaranteed -- for one season.

Tagging Hardy would buy the Panthers another year to negotiate with Hardy, who as one of the league's premiere pass-rushers will be looking for a deal worth more than the six-year, $78 million contract Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson received three years ago.

But putting the tag on Hardy would consume all of the $11.6 million in unused cap space the Panthers are carrying into the 2014 league year -- a hefty price for a team that will be looking to lock up franchise cornerstones Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly with huge deals in the next two years.

There are no easy solutions with Hardy, who was a big piece of the Panthers' second-ranked defense in 2013. General manager Dave Gettleman could try to tag Hardy and then trade him for draft picks, a scenario that might be easier said than done.

The Panthers have a lot of needs to address this offseason. They could stand to pick up or re-sign at least one offensive tackle, an elite wide receiver and several defensive backs.

Depending on how the Hardy situation shakes out, Gettleman and Co. might be looking for a pass-rusher, as well.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on February 17, 2014 at 05:00 PM | Permalink


I say we try sign and trade first but if it don't work go get LT and CB and draft two WR and let him walk

Posted by: Jon | Feb 17, 2014 5:17:38 PM

there are 3 different franchise tags now, so it could be less than the 12.6 million for the exclusive tag.

makes 100% sense to tag him as opposed to extend him. we saw how crazy he was living on the small contract, no way I'm wanting to commit long term to find out how crazy the guy is with big money.

let him earn the big money this year and next year and THEN give him an extension after he's grown up a bit more. more expensive year by year, but less risky and probably more cost effective overall.

the guy HAS to get tagged though. no matter how you cut it. every other position on the roster besides kicker (gano) can be filled later in the year and in the draft. no need to have any more cap room than we do right now. tag now, or cry later.

this offseason we'll see what gettleman really has. he went 12-4 with the team hurney built. all he has to do is keep it together, draft well, and negotiate properly and he has a contender for a 3-5 year window of keuchly and newton's primes.

Posted by: charlottean | Feb 17, 2014 5:31:12 PM

Dude smokes a lot of weed

Posted by: Elliot | Feb 17, 2014 6:28:56 PM

The panthers have the total package for a great run for the next (3) years.
I would take a chance on everyone whom has proven themselves already on the team.
Call a meeting with the whole team and establish a goal.
To win a championship or go for all the money and miss
The ultimate goal to have a super bowl under thier belt.
If everyone took a small cut in salary to keep 75% of the
2013 team as a whole and freed up some monies to add
Some need piecies
And recieved some stocks in the francise
Kind of like Green Bay
They could have and NFC dynasty like the sea hawks.
Who will get rid of some key players.
Julius peppers
Went with the money no super bowl ring
If he would have stayed we would have been better.
John beason
We shoud have restructured and kept him.
Players are taking there eyes of the prize
And selling themselves short.
Any player who loves the game and wants to win
That is already making good money
Should want to stay put and figure out a way
To help his team and come up with a win win situation
De Angelo williams
He made a sacrifice and the team won the
Cam isn't trying to rock the boat
Players follow thier leads
Protect what you are already making
And you will be fine

Posted by: Ray Pearson | Feb 17, 2014 7:17:02 PM

I say tag him. If he walks and the Panthers don't make the playoffs next year everyone will blame it on lack of pass rush. Also- w/o Hardy our DB's would be exposed. Would Captain Munnerlyn be rated the 24th best Free Agent w/o our pass rush? Hell no.

Posted by: Jason Witt | Feb 17, 2014 7:53:05 PM

The team that Hurney built missed playoffs for 5 straight years, there is a reason why no one picked him up

Posted by: jeff | Feb 17, 2014 8:27:44 PM

Let him go. Hardy is replaceable. Most of his sacks came against less-than-quality opponents. Did you hear a peep out of him during the playoff game? I'd argue Johnson is more valuable.

We have too many other needs to lock up tons of money in this one player -- receiver, Gano, long-term deals at QB and LB. At this point, I'd rather see us sink money into DBs than into one DE.

Posted by: JohnMc | Feb 18, 2014 1:33:29 AM

JohnMc has got it. Hardy's numbers are misleading. He will get 3 or 4 sacks against lesser quality teams, disappear for two or three games, then maybe return again for 2 or 3 more sacks. Both DE's have this tendency to disappear when the game's matter.

At least Peppers took plays off. Hardy takes whole games off. But of course, this franchise will try to facilitate Hardy's contract before Cam. Ridiculous.

Posted by: D.W.G. | Feb 18, 2014 5:41:33 AM

That's because they shift a lot of attention His way plus, not to mention Greg Hardy Had more pass pressure then Any one else on the team last year, we get cought up on sacks all the time "We forget about how important pressure is on a quarterback so I say we need him he is part of the puzzle that the Panthers need to stay ahead of the NFC South point blank!!

Posted by: Mark Hayes | Feb 18, 2014 8:13:25 AM

"the team that hurney built missed the playoffs 5 straight years"

2 were intentional rebuilding years (which got us cam and cleared cap space), the last 2 were on rivera (who WAS hired by hurney, but hurney didn't run off fox, either)

you guys kill me. the nfl is built for parity and you can't handle missing the playoffs. this isn't baseball or basketball. the only teams that stay consistently in the playoffs are the ones with top 5 qbs and top 5 coaches. no GM can pull those rabbits out of his hat.

we aren't in anywhere near as bad a cap situation as many teams. gettleman is using that as a crutch to fall back on in case of failure. which is smart. but it doesn't change the fact that we have a LOADED roster that we absolutely CAN afford to keep intact and the only issue has been coaching.

we went 7-9 2012 where 7 games came down to one idiotic error by rivera.

charlotte sports fans hate guys like john fox, jake delhomme, boris diaw, i'll throw brandon lafell in that category. it's ugly, it's not flashy, not good stats, but it wins.

Posted by: charlottean | Feb 18, 2014 8:24:13 AM

I dont see Kraken justifying a franchise tag plus Alexander might be ready for more playing time. Lets hope we have another good draft. One need not being mentioned is RB. Williams is nearing retirement and Stewart has been retired on active duty. We might want to pick up a RB, too.

Posted by: DraftPro | Feb 18, 2014 8:53:14 AM

Gettleman went 12-4 with the team Hurney built? Hurney's team got ran on every week... Gettleman drafted 2 stud DTs and suddenly no one is running on us and we have the #2 ranked defense in the league. I don't think he did it with Hurney's team, lol.

Posted by: Me | Feb 18, 2014 9:22:05 AM

make him a decent offer....nothing crazy.

dumpy stewart's contract if at all possible, that was a stupid move by the hurney.

Posted by: tony clifton | Feb 18, 2014 10:55:22 AM

As much as I love Hardy and the Kraken, it's hard to look past the numbers. All of his big games came against terrible linemen on less than mediocre teams. If he wants the money he's worth, the Panthers should tag him - 12 million. That's how much he's worth right now, and might be the most he's ever worth. No harm in the Panthers making a year long investment - either his value goes down or his value goes up and we can trade for him. Balls in your court Gettleman.

Posted by: Cardiackid | Feb 18, 2014 12:34:50 PM

Again nobody is lining up for Hurney. It is going to take 2 more years to fix the cap. Thanks Marty.

Posted by: steve | Feb 18, 2014 1:36:24 PM

Me, Star was a monster get but he fell in our lap. Gentleman gets credit for Short but what he did best was loading our secondary with the Legion of Whom

Posted by: DraftPro | Feb 18, 2014 2:53:20 PM

as mentioned above, star fell into our lap.

we got ran on every week? try we had a top 10 offense AND defense in 2012 and finished 7-9. how is that possible? because every game rivera was playing prevent D in the 4th with the lead and punting when he should have gone for it and going for it when he should have punted, etc. etc. etc.

WE AREN'T IN A BAD CAP SITUATION. how is finishing 12-4 and being able to return all of your starters and key special teams guys a bad cap situation? if you think we can't......you don't understand the nfl cap and free agency. if we don't....it has more to do with preference than ability.

washington is cap strapped. dallas is cap strapped. we aren't anywhere close. and paying beason 8 million to be a free agent stud for somebody else isn't exactly helping us either. 7th rounder and a million saved vs. waiting on an all-pro linebacker to get healthy.


as bad as stewart's situation is....that's injury related, not performance. he played great the......5 snaps he played last year. might be poised for a big year, we know he's well rested. if we hadn't paid him and he walked and played great elsewhere, it would have been the wrong move too. tough call either way. i'm not sure what happened when he restructured with gettleman last offseason, but his entire salary this year is guaranteed supposedly. I guess gettleman accelerated the guaranteed money so he can ride this "cap hell" thing out this year before actually accepting responsibility for the job going forward.

godfrey, olsen, and others will restructure/extend/be cut. Draft picks will plug holes of outgoing free agents as they always do. gano will be resigned. hardy will be tagged (or should be). we'll return an equally talented roster as last year with a more experienced but still young quarterback.

how is that cap strapped?

12-4 last year with godfrey, stewart, silatolu, etc. missing the year or most of it. and jon beason being paid to play for somebody else.

that's what "cap hell" equates to in the observers world. and you guys are eating it up.

same kind of clowns that boo boris diaw like he's what was wrong with the bobcats. dude was the starting 4 on the 3 most successful bobcats seasons. but he's the bad guy. like hurney. and delhomme. and fox.

you guys are horrible fans.

Posted by: charlottean | Feb 18, 2014 3:45:37 PM

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