Greg Hardy: Aiming for 50 sacks

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- This is going to sound outrageous, but that shouldn’t be a surprise when you consider it’s coming from Greg Hardy.

The defensive end for the Carolina Panthers was asked Tuesday if he had a goal for the number of sacks he’ll register this season.

“Fifty," Hardy said during a break between minicamp practices. “Why shoot low, right? If I’m going to shoot at it, I’m going to shoot at it with a 50 caliber. I’m going to shoot at a little bird with a 50-caliber bullet. That’s the goal for this year, 50 sacks, that’s where I’m at. That’s the goal, 50. You heard it first."

Yeah, that sounds more than a little ridiculous. But give Hardy, who had 11 sacks last season, credit for having confidence in himself and the rest of the defensive line.

“Our D-line is about getting money and not like you all are thinking," Hardy said. "Just everybody winning. If the tackles are getting it, that means they’ve got to block them now and while they’re blocking them, I’m sneaking in the backdoor and taking everything. It’s the type of situation where we want everybody to win -- the young guys, the new guys, the old guys. It was the same way last year. That’s how we got to RG III [Redskins QB Robert Griffin III], that’s how we got to Chicago, all those guys. Just breeding confidence into all of the defensive linemen and letting them know they can win."

Speaking of money, Hardy did talk about his contract situation. His absence from several recent OTAs had led to speculation that he was making a statement he wants a new contract. His current one is scheduled to run out after the season.

But Hardy said he has no plans to hold out during training camp.

“Yeah, I will be there bright and early, same as always,’’ Hardy said.