NFL Rumors: Is there legitimate interest in Greg Hardy?

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

The baggage Greg Hardy brings with him is obvious, but his agent suggests that’s not stopping NFL teams from expressing interest in the controversial DE.

Greg Hardy got off to a good start with the Dallas Cowboys last season, registering three sacks in his first two games. But he only managed to match that number over the subsequent 10 games, and his tenure with the team never truly went as planned.

With the 2016 season fast approaching, Hardy remains a free agent, but that may be changing.

ESPN’s Dan Graziano has passed along some comments about the market for Hardy’s services from his agent, the notorious Drew Rosenhaus.

"“There is some substantial team interest in Greg,” Drew Rosenhaus, Hardy’s agent, said Tuesday. “I do believe he will be signed in the near future by either a team that suffers an injury on the defensive line or a club that realizes it simply needs more talent on the defensive front.”"

The Jacksonville Jaguars had Hardy in for a workout in July, but multiple reports suggested they have no plans to sign him. Around the same time, ESPN’s Ed Werder reported that the Washington Redskins had discussed signing Hardy, but that notion was also quickly dismissed.

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It’s Rosenhaus’ job to act proactively on Hardy’s behalf, but comments about “substantial interest” is obviously little more than PR spin. Graziano is just doing his job as a reporter, but Rosenhaus has to convey optimism — even if he may not truly believe it.

Hardy missed most of the 2014 season due to a domestic violence incident, the details of which we won’t re-hash here. But Hardy’s startling failure to truly own it has lingered like the plague, contributing to a public discourse that has, at times, devolved into straight-up victim-blaming. An interview with ESPN’s Adam Schefter this past spring cast Hardy’s lack of self-awareness into stark, disturbing relief.

Looking at his on-field production, Hardy’s game logs yield enough #footballreasons for teams to avoid him. Indeed, seven of Hardy’s 40 career sacks came over a two game stretch in 2013 — in what looks more in more, in hindsight, like a pure contract drive — with a scant 33 sacks in his other 73 appearances.

A bad guy who invites questions about his effort on the field is bad mix in any sport. There’s a premium placed on pass rushers in the NFL, second only to quarterbacks, which keeps Hardy in the news. But his resume shows he doesn’t deserve another opportunity, and there are no real signs that will change.