Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy announced that he has accepted his four-game suspension, as David Moore of The Dallas Morning News tweets.
“While I am terribly disappointed to miss the first four games of this season, I am absolutely determined that my issue is not going to be a distraction for the Cowboys,” Hardy said in a statement (via PFT). “I have enormous affection and respect for everyone here, and having seen the impact a court case can have on an NFL organization, I believe it is in the team’s best interest for me to announce that I will not pursue any further litigation. Everything I do from this point on will be designed to bring glory and pride to my family, their family and this team.”
In the wake of Tom Brady‘s victory over the NFL, some speculated that Hardy could have had a better chance of getting his suspension reduced or eliminated altogether via litigation. However, time was not on the side of the Cowboys star. Had he started the legal process after the Brady ruling, Hardy probably could not have gotten a ruling in his own case before Week 4.
Now that he has accepted the four-game suspension, he’ll have the potential to earn up to about $10.628MM this season. The 26-year-old’s contract has a modest base salary, but features up to $9.25MM in per-game roster bonuses and about $1.8MM in incentives. By getting his penalty reduced from 10 games to four games, Hardy will have the opportunity to earn nearly $3.5MM in extra per-game roster bonuses.
As a refresher, Hardy allegedly assaulted and threatened to kill ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder in May of 2014. After being found guilty by a judge, Hardy was scheduled to get a jury trial, but due to a lack of cooperation by Holder, the charges against the defensive end were ultimately dismissed, as he reached a civil settlement with his accuser. While the case played out, Hardy spent the 2014 season on the commissioner’s exempt list for the Panthers, missing all but one game. The Cowboys signed Hardy earlier this offseason before word of his suspension broke, and a four-game ban is about what the team had initially expected. For a while, it appeared that Hardy would be serving a ten-game suspension, but that was chopped down in July.