Bucs wise to pass on Greg Hardy

TAMPA, Fla. -- Maybe the best move by the Buccaneers in this free-agency period was one they didn't make.

The Bucs took themselves out of the pursuit of free-agent defensive end Greg Hardy on Wednesday.

That might be the best thing Tampa Bay could have done. Yes, the Bucs find themselves still looking for a much-needed pass-rusher, and Hardy was the best on the market.

But Hardy would have come with a lot of downside. Although a charge of assaulting his girlfriend was dropped, Hardy still faces the possibility of suspension if the NFL finds he violated the league's personal conduct policy. Any future transgressions could result in a lengthy suspension or maybe even a ban.

It's not quite clear how seriously the Bucs were about Hardy. He never had a visit with the team.

Maybe they got outbid financially. Or maybe the Bucs came to the conclusion that they would have been selling their soul if they signed Hardy.