Werder posits that every free agent defensive end has “moved up” one spot on the board now that Dwight Freeney has joined the Falcons. The Bengals were said to be a finalist for Hardy, so one has to wonder if Cincinnati could be the mystery club expressing interest in the 27-year-old. Recently, the Redskins and the Jaguars both flirted with the idea of signing Hardy before putting the defensive end (and the hellish PR firestorm that he would bring) on the back burner.
Most NFL teams have distanced themselves from the idea of signing Hardy and it sounds like the CFL may have blacklisted him. Hardy played 12 games for the Cowboys last season, tallying 35 tackles, six sacks, an interception, and a forced fumble. In terms of traditional numbers, that was a far cry from Hardy’s production with the Panthers. Between 2011 and 2013, the former sixth-round pick averaged 56 tackles and 10 sacks a season. Still, Hardy ranked as the league’s 28th-best edge defender out of 110 qualified players, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
It remains to be seen whether a team will gamble on the multiple-time Pro Bowler, but there’s at least one more club considering it internally.
Photo courtesy of PFR on Instagram.