This Panther season looks like it may be remembered most for the Kraken being on the Commissioner's exempt list. And that loss has had a direct impact on the #2 ranked Defense from 2013 falling to 29th. I won't say that his being out is the sole reason we are struggling. But I will say he is is the biggest reason we are not still in first place in the NFC South. His 15 sacks from a year ago, along with his fiery persona and constant pressure is sorely lacking. Below is a brief discussion on both for and against bringing him back to the Panthers both immediately and long term. Then I want to hear your thoughts.
First the argument against bringing him back: Some reports (including one from The Observer) that The Panthers put their trust in Hardy. They made him our Franchise Player. Moreover, we committed over 10% of our cap to him for 2014. That is more than we pay any other Panther player not named Charles Johnson. To be exact, we committed pay him $770K per week to be our Franchise guy. And when you are paid as the Franchise, you have to be smart on and off the field. Even if he did not abuse his accuser (which is not proven one way or the other yet), he made a terrible choice of partying on the town with a crazy chick that was on cocaine. Not to mention having a butt-load of guns laying around. Cocaine, crazy chicks and guns don't mix people. And after the horrific memory of Rae Carruth and him killing his fiance and trying to kill his unborn child forever etched into Panther history, do we really want another guy with these tendencies on the team? Do we really want to commit that type of money to a guy that was the hand that flushed the 2014 season? Many of you say no.
Now the argument for bringing him back: There is a report out today from Jason Cole that the Panthers are interested in bringing the Kraken back. That they don't believe his charges are valid. And if they aren't true, then why wouldn't we bring him back? Bad judgement? That is a valid point as described above, but contracts can be written with protections against such behavior. And NC Law does say when someone appeals their court ruling, they are assumed innocent until proven guilty. There is no proof of guilt to this point, there is no video, no admission. Oh yea, he is the one that called 911. If being accused meant you can't play then why are other players playing with similar accusations?
In summary, both arguments have their merits. I think he needs to be brought back now, and if found innocent he should be signed long term. If found guilty, then cut your ties and move on. What say you? Join us at 10:00 EST at the this link to hear this topic and more: (and if you are reading this after the show aired, then this link will show the recording. Check it out: