Panthers now eligible for compensatory pick for Greg Hardy

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Carolina Panthers are eligible for a compensatory draft pick in 2016 after Friday’s decision by an arbitrator to reduce the 10-game suspension of Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy to four.

Hardy became an unrestricted free agent in February when the Panthers opted not to re-sign their 2013 sack leader, who at the time was on the NFL commissioner’s exempt list dealing with his domestic violence case involving ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder.

Hardy was arrested last May after Holder accused him of assaulting and threatening to kill her. The case was dismissed in February because Holder refused to cooperate with the prosecution or show up for trial.

The prosecution cited a settlement between Hardy and Holder when dismissing the case.

Hardy signed a one-year, $11.3 million contract with Dallas in March, and in April was given a 10-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct code.

Hardy had to be on Dallas’ roster for at least 10 games in order for Carolina to be eligible for a compensatory pick. That wasn’t possible in a 16-game season until the suspension was reduced.

Because Hardy earned $13.1 million last season from the Panthers despite playing in only one game, Carolina potentially is eligible for a third-round pick since Dallas signed Hardy for more than $8 million a year.

The Panthers selected Hardy in sixth round of the 2010 draft.