What should the Panthers do about Greg Hardy?

Greg HardyGreg Hardy's knack for getting bad publicity has come to an ugly head as a judge found him guilty of assault on a female and communicating threats. Hardy has appealed for a jury trial and the legal process will continue to play itself out. The NFL will likely wait for the legal process, but the Panthers are faced with a decision concerning the future of the franchise.

Panthers GM Dave Gettleman placed the franchise tag on Hardy in hopes on working on a long term deal, but the deadline passed as Hardy sat on the stand giving his testimony of the events that transpired that fateful early morning. Hardy is due $13.1 million this season so cutting him out right as a lot of fans are calling for is out of the question.

This could possibly be Hardy's last season with the Panthers organization as owner Jerry Richardson is having flashbacks of Rae Carruth. The Hardy situation is nowhere near as egregious as Carruth, but that type of situation and the allegations facing Hardy has got to raise some eyebrows.

Gettleman is known for rotating fresh defensive line and ends as he did in New York with Strahan, Kiwanuka, Umenyiora and Justin Tuck. Charles Johnson is not young anymore, but he likely has a couple of good seasons left in the tank. Currently on the roster are young guys Frank Alexander, Mario Addison and Wes Horton who combined for 5.5 sacks and 15 QB pressures. Alexander is suspended for the first four games this season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, but the 2012 fourth round draft pick showed promise in the 12 games he appeared in.

Rookie Kony Ealy will be thrown into the fire early and often this season. The First Team All SEC selection has the physical tools to compete at the highest level, but the jump from the SEC to the NFL is still significant.

The Panthers face a tough season breaking in new weapons at wide receiver and two new pieces on the offensive line. A mediocre to semi successful season could lead to draft choice in the 2015 NFL draft that is rich with pass rushers.

The season is a long way away, but DEs such as Mario Edwards, Markus Golden, Noah Spence, Jermaurio Rasco and Shilique Calhoun all await to hear their names called and if the Panthers chose to part ways with Hardy one of them could be suiting up to play at Bank of America Stadium.

By: +Justin Davis.  You can find his work at http://jersymikejrshow.sportsblog.com/.  Be sure to give him a follow on Twitter @JerseyMikeJr