There hasn’t been any movement in extension talks between Greg Hardy and the Panthers, the defensive end tells Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter). Hardy, whose rookie deal is set to expire, will face potential unrestricted free agency this offseason.
The Panthers won’t have a ton of cap flexibility this winter, but Hardy, who recorded a career-high 15 sacks in 2013, figures to be one of their top priorities. GM Dave Gettleman made comments last week that seemed to hint Carolina was bracing for the possibility of letting Hardy walk in free agency, but the club may still keep the 25-year-old off the open market. The Panthers could use the franchise tag on Hardy for about $11-12MM, and the former sixth-round pick also indicated last month that he’d be open to accepting a hometown discount on a long-term extension.
“I’ll take some cut for the city,” Hardy told Person. “I still want what I deserve or what I feel (is) close to what I deserve, but I’ll definitely take a small cut for the city.”
It figures to be a busy offseason for the Panthers, who have 21 players, including Hardy, slated for free agency. Cam Newton will also become eligible for a contract extension, and the Panthers will likely make every effort to lock up their franchise quarterback.