Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy has become the first of this year’s franchised players to sign his one-year tender, reports Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. By inking the one-year franchise deal, Hardy will be guaranteed a $13.116MM salary for the 2014 season, barring a long-term deal that shifts some of that money around.
Signing the franchise tender doesn’t preclude Hardy and the Panthers from negotiating a multiyear agreement at some point over the next few months. In fact, it may give the team more incentive to do so, in order to reduce the star pass rusher’s $13MM+ cap number for 2014.
Because he has signed the tender, Hardy can no longer negotiate with rival suitors in free agency, while the Panthers can no longer rescind their franchise offer. Essentially, Carolina and Hardy are down to three options: Hardy playing out the 2014 season on this one-year deal, the two sides working out a long-term agreement, or the team trading him.