"I want to play," he said on Monday. "I feel like in this big mix that people mix the game and the business. The locker room, this is part of my game. I've got an agent for the business part. I like to hit people, hurt people -- not on purpose, though.
"That's my thing."
In other words, Hardy won't let negotiations become a distraction whether a new deal gets done this week, next week or 16 weeks from now.
A source close to the situation told ESPN.com last week that the Panthers and Hardy's representatives were discussing an extension that possibly could get done before Sunday's opener against Seattle.
Carolina general manager Dave Gettleman and Hardy's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, were not available for comment.
But the timing is right for a deal to get done. Hardy is scheduled to make $1.35 million in the final year of his rookie contract. He is coming off a breakout season in which he had 11 sacks and 23 quarterback pressures, so if he comes close to that again his price tag will skyrocket.
The Panthers also are more than $12 million below the cap, so they have room to maneuver now. Again, Hardy just wants to play, which is what he should do.
"More sacks, more famous, the more wins, the more everything ... you know what I mean." he said. "That's what I'm about."