2:51pm: According to Person (Twitter links), NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy responded with the following statement: “He hasn’t been disciplined. There is nothing for him to seek reinstatement from at this point.” As I noted below, since the league is still reviewing Hardy’s case, no suspension has been announced yet, whereas Peterson’s quest for reinstatement came after he had served his six-game suspension. So while Hardy could try to push for an expedited ruling, his case isn’t quite at the same point as Peterson’s was.
1:34pm: In the wake of a court’s ruling to overrule an NFL arbitrator’s decision in Adrian Peterson‘s case, embattled Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy will seek immediate reinstatement, a league source tells Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link). For now, Hardy remains on the commissioner’s exempt list as the league completes its review of the domestic violence charges against Hardy that were dismissed in court several weeks ago.
In rejecting arbitrator Harold Henderson’s decision in the Peterson case today, Judge David Doty ruled that the NFL was improperly applying its new personal conduct policy to a case that was already in progress prior to the introduction of that policy. If the old policy should have been applied to Peterson, that should be true for Hardy as well, meaning the Carolina pass rusher wouldn’t necessary be subject to a six-game suspension (or more) for his alleged off-field actions.
Of course, even if Hardy’s case was being evaluated using the league’s old policy, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the defensive end will avoid discipline of any kind — he could still face a suspension. However, pushing for immediate reinstatement may accelerate the NFL’s decision-making process, which could mean that Hardy’s situation would at least be resolved by the time he’s eligible to hit the open market next month.
Even if he were hit with a two-game ban, which was the standard in the league’s old conduct policy, Hardy and his potential suitors could go into the free agent period knowing exactly when he’ll return to the field. That would help bring the market for his services into focus.