After two days of meet and greets, trying to see if this would work for both parties, the Dallas Cowboys and Free Agent Defensive End Greg Hardy agreed to a deal. Hardy was looking for a team that wanted his services. The Cowboys not only fit what he was looking for organizationally but also systematically. Marinelli’s defense should highlight what Hardy does best and get him and this Defense a chance to rise.
Hardy signed a deal that is worth up to $13.1 million. That is a huge chunk of change. But get this. Hardy’s base salary is only $750,000. The majority of his money will come through bonuses and incentives. Hardy can earn more than $9 million dollars this upcoming season just by being active. His contract includes a roster bonus of $578,125 per game. If he play, they pay. There is also some added motivation for him to remain one of the top five 4-3 Defensive ends with a performance incentive. Hardy will earn $500,000 if he records 8 quarterback sacks, $1 million with 10 sacks, $1.4 million with 12 sacks and $1.84 million with 14 sacks or more. Hardy will also get paid in his preparation for the season. If he participates in the Off-season Training Activities (OTAs), Hardy will net $1.31 million.
This deal will allow the Cowboys to have flexibility, not just with Hardy but with their Salary Cap. This deal will only count $3.2 million dollars towards the cap. The Cowboys still have almost $5 million they can play with. They will get more money when they sign Dez long term and arrive to a conclusion on Brandan Carr. The team wants him to take a pay cut. Cowboys are hopeful that Hardy will want to resign with team next year if he pans out. Not too many teams stepped up in uncertainty to try to win his services. The Cowboys are taking a risk. One which they think will work in their favor.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were also interested in signing “The Kraken” but decided against it. Jason Lict, the General Manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was quoted as saying that they “didn’t feel good about it.” What was he referring to? Who wouldn’t feel good about signing a pro bowl talent such as Greg Hardy?Well, if you consider what Hardy was accused of, you might understand how the Tampa Bay Buccaneer front office (along with almost every other front office) feels on adding Hardy to their team.
Greg Hardy allegedly physically assaulted his then girlfriend, Nicole Holder. Her first account is that he threw her across Hardy’s apartment, into the bathroom and into the living room. She stated that she had bruises from head to toe from the actions and violence done at his hand. Hardy denies this claim. His side of the story is that they got into an argument and he asked her to leave. She refused. He asked again and she got angry. According to him, he was the one assaulted. Not only would she not leave, but she hit him, threw objects at him and broke some of his belongings. If evidence was to be found, like photos of attack or witnesses supporting a story, Hardy would be in trouble. Hardy’s story does have some type of evidence. Here is the 911 call that he made to the police during the altercation. http://m.wsoctv.com/videos/news/listen-greg-hardy-911-call/vCbCh2/
When the police came they questioned Holder and took Hardy to jail. Hardy didn’t play another game in the NFL last year, being placed on the commissioners exempt list. While on the list, Hardy continued to be paid, but was suspended from all activity with his team. Later on, his case was heard by a judge in Carolina courts. The Judge convicted him. Hardy appealed, taking his case to court where Holder would not cooperate with prosecutors. The case was dropped.
The NFL is still investigating what happened on that early morning of May 13. Sources say that Hardy will most likely be suspended for parts of this season as well. The mystery question is how many games. The NFLs new domestic violence policy indicates that suspension could be six games. Very few think it will be greater than that (those close to story are saying four) but banishment is a possibility with Roger Godell having the last say as always.
Meanwhile, Cowboys fans can at least celebrate a little. Hardy should see the field for the majority of the season. On paper, the Cowboys pass rush just got better. The Cowboys ranked 28th in sacks and 27th in 3rd down defensive efficiency last year. The Kraken, 26-year-old phenom, who is just as good stopping the run, is a welcomed addition to this team. Teaming him with last years rookie DeMarcus Lawrence on the outside and Tyrone Crawford on the inside should bolster their defensive line and provide a solid pass rushing threat. The NFL and more specifically, the NFC East should be on high alert. Dallas will seek to Unleash The Kraken and return to the playoffs where they were one call away from the NFC Championship game.