I put this to an unscientific vote Monday on Twitter. Sixty-one responded. I’m not sure if the low number shows a lack of interest or if fans in North Carolina were more focused on the winter storm that hit the area.
@DNewtonespn Yes. Because I don't want to see him in Red & Black, head-hunting the man we're about to pay 100 million dollars. - Austin (@auStallings) February 17, 2015
@DNewtonespn yes. Pass rushers are too valuable. LUKE is the engine and Hardy is the key. Without Hardy makes difference in 7 wins & 12 wins - Nick Bolick™ (@NICKBOLICK3) February 17, 2015
@DNewtonespn YES! He's a premier DE, and we're built around the defense. Just give him a short leash with maybe a zero tolerance policy— Kiema Huntley (@Panther_Slim) February 17, 2015
@DNewtonespn yes, you don't let talent out the door with an aging johnson. Contingent on a 4-7 mil a year salary tho— Randy Romich (@RandyRomich) February 16, 2015
@DNewtonespn i have to say that we should pass on resigning him. Hopefully we can make something outta the compensatory pick— James (@jbedwards101) February 16, 2015
@DNewtonespn Yes, he is too good to let go. But he MUST take a major discount for the team. I mean HUUUUGE.— #NickKeepPounding (@NickTheSlick12) February 16, 2015
@DNewtonespn No. Too much $ for a guy you can't trust not to screw up again. Defense can be solid without him.— gbein83 (@gbein83) February 16, 2015
@DNewtonespn absolutely not. Major character concerns w/ too big a price tag just as we're getting cap space ready for Luke and Cam deals— Dylan Arant (@arant_dylan5) February 16, 2015
Regardless, those who voted were strongly in favor of the 2013 Pro Bowl selection being re-signed, with many of those saying at a discount.
Hardy had charges of assaulting and threatening to kill ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder dropped eight days ago because his accuser refused to cooperate with the district attorney’s office. The DA’s office cited evidence of a civil settlement between Hardy and Holder when dropping the charges.
Hardy remains on the NFL’s exempt list, where he has been since September, while the league conducts its own investigation to determine whether he violated the league’s personal conduct code.
The league filed a motion on Friday asking to unseal documents from a July 15 trial in which Hardy was found guilty by a Mecklenburg County Judge.
Hardy faces a minimum six-game suspension by the league if found to have violated the conduct code.
The Panthers aren’t expected to re-sign Hardy, who becomes an unrestricted free agent on March 10. But there are players and coaches in the organization who are lobbying for team owner Jerry Richardson to consider bringing Hardy back, possibly at a discounted price.
Carolina paid Hardy $13.1 million last season. He played in only one game.
While waiting on the NFL to complete its investigation, to which officials said there is no timetable, I decided to poll the fans on what they’d like to see happen.
Here’s what some of you had to say: