The NFL has announced that Greg Hardy has been suspended for 10 games without pay, according to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (via Twitter). A source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (on Twitter) that the Cowboys defensive end will appeal the decision.
Adam Schefter of ESPN (via Facebook) passes along the entire statement from the league. It reads, in part, “In a letter from Commissioner Roger Goodell, Hardy was informed that an extensive two-month NFL investigation following the dismissal of his case in North Carolina state court determined that there was sufficient credible evidence that Hardy engaged in conduct that violated NFL policies in multiple respects and with aggravating circumstances.”
Within his message to Hardy, Goodell also said that the defensive end “should understand that another violation of this nature may result in [his] banishment from the NFL.” In order to return to playing, Hardy “must have no further adverse involvement with law enforcement and must not commit any additional violations of league policies.”
The statement outlined, in detail, the events that took place on May 13th, 2014.
“First, he used physical force against her which caused her to land in a bathtub. Second, he used physical force against her which caused her to land on a futon that was covered with at least four semi-automatic rifles. Third, he used physical force against her by placing his hands around Ms. Holder’s neck and applying enough pressure to leave visible marks. And fourth, he used physical force to shove Ms. Holder against a wall in his apartment’s entry hallway.
‘The net effect of these acts was that [Nicole Holder] was severely traumatized and sustained a range of injuries, including bruises and scratches on her neck, shoulders, upper chest, back, arms and feet,’ Commissioner Goodell wrote. ‘The use of physical force under the circumstances present here, against a woman substantially smaller than you and in the presence of powerful, military-style assault weapons, constitutes a significant act of violence in violation of the Personal Conduct Policy.'”
The Cowboys expected a four-game suspension and, at maximum, a six-game suspension for their new star defensive end, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets. Of course, much of Hardy’s contract is tied to bonuses based on games played and performance, so Dallas is protected financially. If Hardy winds up serving the entire 10-game suspension, his first game back will be against the Panthers on Thanksgiving. In total, Hardy stands to miss 25 games between 2014 and 2015 for his actions.
Hardy made the Pro Bowl in 2013 after he compiled a career-high 15 sacks, and Pro Football Focus (subscription required) ranked him as the second-best overall defensive end in the league. He was franchised for a one-year salary of $13.1MM for the 2014 season and wound up playing in just one game for that entire campaign.