Reported stricter policy could impact Hardy

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- According to the Washington Post, the NFL is considering a change in policy involving domestic violence. Such a change could impact Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy.

The Post, citing sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the NFL is looking at suspensions ranging from four to six games for the first domestic-violence offense to one year for a second offense.

Hardy was found guilty by a Mecklenburg County judge of assaulting and threatening ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder during a May 13 incident at Hardy's uptown apartment. Hardy appealed the July 15 verdict and asked for a jury trial that has been scheduled for Nov. 17, although his attorney expects it won't happen until sometime in 2015, after the season.

The NFL and the Panthers appear to be waiting for Hardy's case to be concluded in court before issuing any penalty. If Hardy loses his appeal and the league adopts the new penalty guideline, he could be subject to punishment under those rules.

Hardy can become a free agent after the 2014 season. The Panthers used the franchise tag on him for this season, guaranteeing him $13.1 million.

Prior to Hardy's arrest, general manager Dave Gettleman said the ultimate goal was to sign the former sixth-round pick out of Ole Miss to a long-term deal. Gettleman was noncommittal when asked again about a long-term deal before training camp.

The league's policy on domestic violence came under fire after Baltimore running back Ray Rice was given a two-game suspension for allegedly striking Janay Palmer, who is now his wife.