The NFL suspended Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy for 10 games without pay for conduct detrimental to the team.
The NFL has suspended Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy 10 games without pay.
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NFL.com's Dan Hanzus reported on Hardy's suspension on April 22. The league suspended him for "conduct detrimental to the team." The ban will take effect for the Cowboys' first 10 regular-season games.
A source told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport (via Hanzus) that Hardy will appeal the suspension. He will be eligible to play for the Week 12 Thanksgiving Day game against his former team, the Carolina Panthers.
On the other hand, David Helman of the Cowboys' official website says Hardy will be allowed to take part in the team's preseason activities which includes the offseason program, Organized Team Activities, training camp and its four preseason games.
Helman adds Hardy has three days to file his appeal to the NFL.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's said Hardy's suspension stems from him violating the league's Personal Policy Conduct when he used physical force against his ex-girlfriend, Nicole Harder, when he was still playing for the Panthers, per Hanzus.
Hardy's case in North Carolina was dismissed two months ago. Hanzus obtained a statement from NFL investigators saying Hardy used "physical force against Nicole Harder in at least four instances."
ESPN Dallas' Todd Archer reported on Wednesday that Lisa Friel, the NFL's senior vice president and special counsel for investigations, led the probe into Hardy's domestic violence case.
Hanzus also obtained a written statement from Goodell explaining how Hardy violated the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy:
"The net effect of these acts was that Ms. Holder was severely traumatized and sustained a range of injuries, including bruises and scratches on her neck, shoulders, upper chest, back, arms and feet.
"The use of physical force under the circumstances present here, against a woman substantially smaller than you and in the presence of powerful, military-style assault weapons, constitutes a significant act of violence in violation of the Personal Conduct Policy."
The league has been unable to get in touch with Holder to get her side of the story. Hanzus says "it was unknown if Holder's lack of availability was 'the result of her entering into a civil settlement with Hardy or other factors.'"
Rapoport earlier predicted a four- to six-game ban for Hardy. Hanzus stresses the Cowboys added some protection into his contract. He was slated to earn $9.25 million in per-game roster bonuses when Dallas signed him to a one-year deal last month.
Now, he'll earn less than half of that amount, per NFL.com. More precisely, Helman estimates Hardy will lose $5.78 million in bonuses. This will be a signifcant drop-off from the one-year contract worth $13 million he signed, which has no guaranteed money and is based mostly on incentives and bonuses.
Archer says Hardy's base salary is $750,000. The ESPN Dallas update also reveals Hardy has been staying in shape at Valley Ranch this month.
Hardy sat out 15 games in his last year with the Panthers in 2014. Helman notes he still earned $13 million in guaranteed money under Carolina's franchise tag. The Panthers placed him on the commissioner's exempt list prior to Week 3 of last season while his off-field issues were brewing.
Should Hardy's appeal fail to cancel his 10-game ban, he will have missed 25 regular-season games over a two-year period, per Hanzus.
Helman obtained a statement from Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones on Hardy's suspension:
"This suspension is something that we anticipated prior to Greg's signing, and we respecct the commissioner's ruling. Our organization understands the very serious nature of this matter. We will use our resources -- work closely with Greg and with the league -- to ensure a positive outcome."
The 26-year-old Hardy has amassed 145 tackles, 34.0 sacks, seven forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 63 career regular-season games for the Carolina Panthers, per ESPN stats.
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