Greg Hardy

This Date In Transactions History: Cowboys Rule Out Re-Signing Greg Hardy

On this date three years ago, Greg Hardy officially blew his second chance. In the midst of the 2016 draft, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters that he had officially ruled out the possibility of re-signing the embattled defensive end. 

Hardy was long considered to be one of the NFL’s most imposing edge rushers, but things took a turn in May of 2014 when he was arrested for allegedly abusing and strangling his ex-girlfriend. After suiting up for the first game of the 2014 season, Hardy was parked on the commissioner’s exempt list and did not return to play in another game for Carolina. The Panthers decided they were done with Hardy, but the Cowboys rolled the dice on him by inking him to a one-year, $11.3MM contract prior to the ’15 campaign.

After serving a four-game ban to start the 2015 season, the Cowboys’ faith in Hardy was not necessarily rewarded. Yes, Hardy managed six sacks across 12 games and, yes, he still managed to grade out as the league’s 28th-best edge defender, according to Pro Football Focus. However, he was not nearly as dominant as he was during his peak years and Hardy was routinely late to team meetings and practices. After dealing with the attitude issues and the PR headaches, the Cowboys decided that they wanted out of the Hardy business.

The rest of the NFL reached a similar conclusion. Teams, for the most part, steered clear of the one-time Pro Bowler. The Jaguars briefly considered signing Hardy, but shut the door on him in August.

Well, I mean, to me, there are a lot of issues,” Jags owner Shad Khan said. “You have to understand them all and the only way is to experience them first-hand. What the upside/downside might be – I think we’re not even close to a decision like that.”

Hardy failed to reboot his career after that, but you can still find him on ESPN. The 30-year-old (31 in July) recently turned his attention to mixed martial arts and is now a member of the UFC’s heavyweight division. Over the weekend, Hardy defeated a Russian journeyman by the name of Dmitry Smoliakov who, frankly, looked defeated before the first punch was thrown. Hardy now boasts a professional record of 4-1 in MMA with many fans calling for a step up in competition in his next bout.

His next opponent is TBD, but this much is clear: Hardy’s future is confined to the cage and his NFL playing days are undoubtedly over.

Extra Points: Barr, Seahawks, Hardy, Freeman

After Anthony Barr ended his short-lived absence from the Vikings‘ offseason program and reported to the team, all appeared to be well in Minnesota. Beat reporters suggested there had been good talks between Barr and the Vikings and that a deal could get done soon. But now there appears to be more tension, and judging by Barr’s recent statements, a deal doesn’t seem to be on the horizon.

Barr, who is heading into the final year of his rookie deal, recently sat down for an interview with Nick Shook of The 2014 first-rounder deflected when asked about his contract and implied there had been little progress. About his deal, he said “it’s more about feeling valued and respected than the actual dollar amount” and added that while he wants “to be there long term… It’s not my decision; it’s on them, and I would like to get it.” Barr put the ball firmly in the Vikings’ court, and made it seem like the Vikings hadn’t made him an offer yet.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Seahawks could make a selection in the upcoming Supplemental Draft, speculates Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Condotta thinks Adonis Alexander “may be the most ‘Seahawky'” of the players available due to his arms being over the team’s required 32 inches in length. Alexander reportedly could go as high as the third round.
  • In a recent profile by Robert Klemko of, former Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy revealed he took two visits to NFL teams after the Cowboys opted not to re-sign him, but his potential signing was ultimately shot down by the owners each time. Hardy had been accused of domestic violence and is currently pursuing a career in UFC.
  • The Broncos released veteran running back C.J. Anderson this offseason, and now appear ready to let rookie Royce Freeman be the leader of their ground game, according to Troy Renck of Denver 7. Renck said about Freeman, the third round pick out of Oregon, “I believe the kid starts in September.” If Freeman starts right away it could make returning young backs Devontae Booker and De’Angelo Henderson expendable.

Greg Hardy Still Hoping For NFL Opportunity

Former Panthers and Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy is now focusing on mixed martial arts, but he still hopes to find his way back to the NFL. Hardy says he is “damn ready at all times” to play in the NFL, though he knows that call might never come. Greg Hardy MMA (vertical)

That’s the tricky part,” Hardy said when asked if he deserves another chance (link via Mark Francescutti of the Dallas Morning News). “I have to use everything I learned in martial arts and learn to let it go. I won’t force it. It’s them not giving me an opportunity.”

Hardy says he has agreed to play in 13 games with the Richmond Roughriders of the American Arena League with a contract that will allow him to opt out for an NFL deal. In the meantime, he is getting ready for an amateur MMA bout on Friday night. If the NFL never gives him another chance at taking the field, Hardy says his long-term goal is to become the UFC’s heavyweight champion.

Back in July, agent Drew Rosenhaus admitted that the window on Hardy’s NFL career is closing. Hardy did reasonably well for the Cowboys in 2015 as he started 15 games and graded out as the league’s 28th-best edge defender out of 110 qualified players, according to Pro Football Focus. On the other hand, he’s a public relations nightmare and he was frequently late or absent from team meetings during that season, which marked his first “second chance”. Teams know that signing Hardy, 30 in July, would upset a good portion of the fan base and possibly disturb the locker room.

Right now, it still doesn’t seem likely that he’ll get another crack at redemption in the NFL. But, for what it’s worth, Hardy has not given up on the idea.

NFL Window Nearly Closed For Greg Hardy

Greg Hardy was scheduled to participate in last weekend’s Spring League Showcase, but he did not take the field with the other NFL hopefuls in California. Instead, Hardy is choosing to focus on his MMA training, agent Drew Rosenhaus tells Mike Florio of PFTGreg Hardy MMA (vertical)

Hardy still hopes to get a chance in the NFL, Rosenhaus says, but both the player and his rep are being realistic about the odds. The agent is hoping that the former Panthers and Cowboys defensive end will get a call from an interested team in the next month, but there’s no reason to think that there will suddenly be a groundswell of interest.

Hardy received zero bites from any teams last offseason after starting 12 games for the Cowboys in 2015. He’s now even further removed from live action but he’s just as toxic as he was before from a PR perspective. There’s also the matter of his perceived attitude problem. Even when he was bestowed with a second chance with the Cowboys, Hardy was reportedly irritable and frequently late for practice.

As talented as he is, teams feel they have little incentive to kick the tires on Hardy. Barring a miracle, it sounds like Hardy will be devoting himself to cage fighting full time rather than pursuing a return to the gridiron.

Photo via Pro Football Rumors on Instagram.

Agent: Teams Have Shown Interest In Greg Hardy

Greg Hardy is still trying to make his way back to the NFL, and agent Drew Rosenhaus told PFT Live‘s Mike Florio that several teams have shown some interest in the troubled defensive end. However, a deal isn’t impending, and Rosenhaus isn’t particularly optimistic.

Greg Hardy (vertical)“Teams have shown interest, but nothing is imminent. I can’t sit here and say that I’m overly optimistic, either,” Rosenhaus said. “I know this is a window for Greg; it’s really important if he’s going to continue his NFL career that he gets into a training camp. I’m working as hard as I can to let the teams know that the issues of the past, Greg has learned from that. People tend to learn when they go through hardship and adversity, and I think everyone can see what Greg’s gone through. It’s humbled him, and he’s improved for the better.”

Of course, those “issues of the past” might be unforgivable in some organization’s eyes. Hardy was arrested following a domestic violence dispute in 2014, and he was also jailed for cocaine possession in 2016. The now-28-year-old had an opportunity with the Cowboys in 2015, when he compiled 35 tackles and six sacks in 12 games (12 starts). However, the player was “moody, lazy, and late to practice” during his Dallas tenure, so front offices might also be debating his passion for the game. Rosenhaus said all of these factors are playing a role in Hardy’s inability to catch on with a team.

“I think it’s the confluence of things, I think it’s the combination,” he said. Joe Mixon got an opportunity even though he was involved with a very controversial situation, so you’d say why wouldn’t Greg Hardy [get the same chance]? The challenge that we have obviously is that Greg didn’t have the best experience with the Cowboys, and that’s the kind of thing that has hurt him with other teams. This most recent experience, [he’s] just trying to show teams that he’s past that. He’s a team player who is going to work hard. Unfortunately, Greg had a legal issue last offseason, and we’re trying to distance him from that, as well. So I think it’s just a combination of things, and it’s been the perfect storm to try to overcome. I’m hopeful that we can, but I can’t make any promises.”

Rosenhaus noted that Hardy is currently focused on his Ultimate Fighting training, and the defensive end was also included in the list of players participating in the Spring League. However, the agent said that Hardy would not be playing in the league’s showcase today in California. The Salt Lake Screaming Eagles of the Indoor Football League also expressed interest in Hardy, although ultimately nothing came of their innovative fan vote.

Fred Jackson To Participate In July Showcase

Fred Jackson is still looking for an NFL job and he’s hoping that a mass audition next month will help make that happen. Today, the Spring League announced that it will host a special showcase game in California on July 15 featuring the former Bills running back (via PFT). Fred Jackson

In addition to Jackson’s debut, controversial defensive end Greg Hardy will also be making his return to the upstart league. Anthony “Boobie” Dixon, who was in Buffalo with Jackson in 2014 and 2015, will also be on hand at Napa Memorial Stadium in Napa, California. The game will be contested between the “Spring League California” and “Spring League East” teams. Terry Shea will coach the California team while Donnie Henderson will coach the East squad.

The Spring League Showcase will provide the NFL with additional opportunities to evaluate players just before the start of training camps,” Spring League CEO Brian Woods said in the press release.

Jackson spent the 2015 season with the Seahawks and had just 26 carries for 100 yards and 32 receptions for 257 yards and two touchdowns. Last year, he was out of football. Still, at the age of 36, Jackson is out to prove that he can perform at a high level. Jackson’s last quality season as a runner was arguably back in 2013 when he ran for 890 yards off of 206 carries (4.3 yards per carry average) with nine scores. In 2014, he had a career-high 66 catches for 501 yards but didn’t fare as well carrying the ball.

Between 2011 and 2013, Hardy averaged 56 tackles and 10 sacks per season season. Even in a down year with Dallas in 2015, he ranked as the league’s 28th-best edge defender out of 110 qualified players, according to Pro Football Focus. However, NFL teams have stayed away from Hardy due to all of his baggage.

The Spring League Announces Camp Roster

Since we learned last year that there’d be a spring football league in 2017, several former NFL stars have committed to the endeavor. Today, The Spring League announced (via Twitter) their full training camp roster.

Ahmad BradshawAs was previously reported, defensive end Greg Hardy, tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., and running back Ben Tate were among the major names to have committed to the league. Former cornerback Brandon Browner was reportedly involved, but he was curiously omitted from the training camp roster. Former Giants and Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw is seemingly the biggest addition to the roster since the last update.

The Spring League is composed of four teams, with the rosters comprised of veteran free agents. Ultimately, six games will be played between April 5 through April 26. Players who are currently on NFL rosters are not eligible to participate.

The full training camp roster can be found below:


Running backs


  • Adam Cox
  • Jonathan Amosa

Read more

Extra Points: Pats, Browns, Saints, Mixon

There have been conflicting reports over the past couple months on whether the Patriots will consider trading backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason. The latest update, via Ian Rapoport of, indicates the Pats “do not want to deal” Garoppolo, even though he could hit free agency next year. No team has shown more interest in Garoppolo this offseason than the Browns, but they’ve seemingly given up hope on acquiring him, per Rapoport, who adds that the Pats regard the 25-year-old as a franchise-caliber passer. New England already has an all-world option under center in Tom Brady, of course, but the five-time Super Bowl champion is set to play his age-40 season in 2017.

One of Garoppolo’s New England teammates, cornerback Malcolm Butler, has also been a prominent part of trade rumors this offseason. While the Patriots’ intention is to keep Butler, according to owner Robert Kraft, Larry Holder of anticipates that they’ll ultimately deal him to the Saints (video via New Orleans has chased Butler, a restricted free agent, and has reportedly had productive long-term contract discussions with him. The Saints aren’t willing to give up the No. 11 overall pick for Butler, but they could dangle the 32nd selection, which they acquired from the Pats in the Brandin Cooks trade.

More from around the sport:

  • Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon will rack up 15 visits with teams prior to the beginning of the draft on April 27, his agent, Peter Schaffer, told Michael Gehlken of Pro Football Talk. “(This many visits) is clearly not efficient and (consumes) a lot of time,” said Schaffer. “But at the same time, it’s important to have it. It’s a blessing for any player to get considered for the draft. Along with that blessing comes hard work.” Many of the clubs Mixon has met with are willing to forgive him for his checkered past, which jibes with a report that he could go as high as the second round. “Everyone who has brought him in has remarked how remorseful he is about what he did when he was 18 … and that he’s deserving of a second chance,” Schaffer revealed.
  • Former NFLers Greg Hardy, Ahmad Bradshaw, Kellen Winslow, McLeod Bethel-Thompson, Ben Tate and Ricky Stanzi have reported to West Virginia to partake in the Spring League, relays Mike Florio of PFT. The league, which isn’t affiliated with the NFL, will play a six-game season from April 15-26. Its participants won’t receive pay – only lodging and meals during the season – writes Florio. Some pro scouts will be on hand, though, giving the players an opportunity to stand out and earn either a first NFL shot or, in the cases of the aforementioned six, a repeat chance(s).
  • The expectation is that the Ravens will eventually release cornerback Kyle Arrington, reports Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. The Ravens would first like Arrington to pass a physical, notes Zrebiec. Arrington suffered a concussion during the preseason last summer and landed on injured reserve at the end of August. Cutting the 30-year-old would save Baltimore $2.1MM, against just under $667K in dead money.

Poll: Should An NFL Team Sign Greg Hardy?

Greg Hardy‘s stock is lower than we ever could have expected. An Indoor Football League team flirted with the idea of signing the defensive end, but opted against it after he did not pass a fan referendum. No one wants to go near the former Pro Bowler because of his unsettling history with domestic violence and perceived lack of accountability for said violence. Even when the Cowboys gave him a second chance in 2015, he was moody, lazy, and late to practice. It’s easy to understand why the NFL wants nothing to do with him and one can even understand the IFL’s hesitation in getting involved with him. Greg Hardy (vertical)

Still, when he’s on the field, Hardy is a game-changing talent. Between 2011 and 2013, the former sixth-round pick averaged 56 tackles and 10 sacks per season season. Even in a down year with Dallas in 2015, he ranked as the league’s 28th-best edge defender out of 110 qualified players, according to Pro Football Focus. At his worst, Hardy is a starting caliber defensive end and he won’t turn 29 until this summer.

Today, we borrow a page from the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles’ book and ask this of PFR readers: Would you want your favorite team to sign Hardy? Vote below and, if you want, explain your choice in the comments.

Extra Points: Hardy, Giants, Kizer

An Indoor Football League team held a fan vote to determine whether it would sign Greg Hardy and the results are in. Fans of Salt Lake Screaming Eagles have voted against signing the controversial defensive end, as’s Darren Rovell writes. The vote barely went against Hardy with 50.1% of fans voting against him, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Charlotte Observer tweets.

If the vote went through, the 28-year-old would have been in uniform for Friday night’s game against the Colorado Crush. As far as we know, the upcoming Spring League will be Hardy’s next stop in football. If that doesn’t work out, he can always shift his attention back towards MMA.

Here’s more from the NFL, as well as news on the Spring League:

  • Giants offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan attended Notre Dame’s pro day to get a look at quarterback DeShone Kizer, James Kratch of writes. Drafting Kizer would be an opportunity for the Giants to reprise Green Bay’s Brett Favre/Aaron Rodgers scenario, meaning that they would forge ahead with Eli Manning as the starter while taking their time to groom his successor. The Giants are slated to pick at No. 23 and again at No. 55 in the second round. Kizer could be available at No. 23 but odds are he won’t be there near the backend of the second round.
  • The coaching staffs for the upcoming Spring League will include Donnie Henderson, Terry Shea, Steve Fairchild, and Denny Creehan, as Mike Florio of PFT writes. Henderson previously served as the defensive coordinator of the Jets and Lions and most recently was with the Bills’ coaching staff. Shea, a former offensive coordinator for the Bears and quarterbacks coach for the Chiefs, Dolphins, and Rams, has not coached high-level football in nearly a decade.
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