10:09am: Hardy will remain on the commissioner’s exempt list until his case is adjudicated, which now isn’t expected to happen until January, a league source tells Cole (Twitter link).
FRIDAY, 9:39am: A representative of the Mecklenberg County D.A.’s office tells Tom Pelissero and Jim Corbett of USA Today that Hardy’s case has not been postponed and remains on the docket for November 17. However, the USA Today duo also hears from a source that the state has postponed Hardy’s case, and office rep Meghan Cooke did acknowledge the date could be subject to change. According to Pelissero and Corbett, the difference “could be semantics,” if the D.A. and Hardy’s lawyers have been told the date will be rescheduled.
THURSDAY, 9:30pm: Jason Cole of Bleacher Report tweets that Hardy will ask the NFL to lift his paid suspension. Cole adds (via Twitter) that Hardy wants to play this season, with some members of his party agreeing and disagreeing with his sentiment.
7:14pm: Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy has been sitting on the exempt/commissioner’s permission list since mid-September, and there was some hope that he would play again this season once his mid-November trial for domestic violence was resolved. That now seems very unlikely, as sources tell ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio that Hardy’s trial has been postponed until after the season. Unless the NFL changes their policy regarding the exempt list, he won’t be allowed back on the field until the case is settled, which means his season is effectively over. Florio notes that Hardy could be pressured to accept a plea deal, but the 26-year-old would still face a punishment from the league.
Hardy’s trial was initially set to begin on November 17, during the Panthers’ bye week. There seemed to be general optimism that the Pro Bowler would be back with the team after that, as NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that Hardy was “confident he would be found not guilty” and would play again this season.
However, there were whispers that some in Hardy’s camp were advising the upcoming free agent to sit out the season and avoid injuries or reduced performance. Florio counters that the defensive end will now be hard pressed to find a big contract. Either way, Joe Person of The Charlotte Observer tweets that Hardy’s career with the Panthers is likely finished.
Hardy made the Pro Bowl last season after he compiled a career-high 15 sacks, and ProFootballFocus.com (subscription required) ranked him as the second-best overall defensive end in the league. He signed a $13.1MM deal for the 2014 season.