Greg Hardy targets 50 sacks in '13

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy has a lofty goal for the number of sacks he's aiming for this season and he wasn't really laughing when he said it.

"Fifty,'' Hardy said Tuesday 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."

The 24-year-old Hardy has 18 career sacks in his three seasons.

Hardy is one of the more vocal and flamboyant members of the Panthers and he held court with the media for about 10 minutes. His spiel was loaded with confidence.

Hardy, who had 11 sacks last season, said he and fellow defensive end Charles Johnson, who had 12.5 sacks, don't have a competition among themselves when it comes to the number of sacks.

"Our D-line is about getting money and not like you all are thinking. 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 (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 address his contract situation. He is headed into the final year of his contract and is making slightly more than $1 million. When he missed some OTAs (organized team activities) there was speculation that he might be making a statement about wanting a new contract. But he showed up for the mandatory minicamp and said he has no plans of holding out for training camp.

"Yeah, I will be there bright and early, same as always,'' Hardy said.