Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy is scheduled to meet with NFL officials Wednesday in New York about his domestic violence case, according to a league source with knowledge of the meeting.
The NFL began an investigation of Hardy last month after the misdemeanor charges against him were dropped when prosecutors could not locate Hardy’s accuser to testify in a jury trial.
In an email to the Observer, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy declined comment when asked about Hardy’s meeting with league officials.
The timing of Wednesday’s meeting is key. Hardy is set to become a free agent on March 10, and any team interested in signing him will want to know whether and for how long Hardy will be suspended.
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The Panthers haven’t shown any interest in re-signing Hardy.
Hardy posted photographs Tuesday from New York on his social media accounts. When a fan noted the scene was not of Charlotte, Hardy replied, “They kicked me outta there lol.”
Attempts to reach Hardy’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, were unsuccessful.
A district judge in Mecklenburg County found Hardy guilty in July of assaulting and threatening to kill ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder during an early-morning altercation at Hardy’s uptown condo last May.
Hardy immediately appealed the decision and was granted a jury trial, which was scheduled to begin Feb. 9.
The morning of the trial, however, prosecutors told the judge they were dropping the charges because multiple attempts to find Holder – including setting up surveillance at her new residence – were unsuccessful.
District attorney Andrew Murray said Hardy had reached a settlement with Holder for an undisclosed amount to settle any civil claims.
Hardy made $13.1 million last season while playing in only one game – the season opener at Tampa Bay. He was deactivated for a Week 2 game against Detroit, then went on the commissioner’s exempt list for the remainder of the season.
The NFL tried unsuccessfully to have the evidence from Hardy’s bench trial unsealed.
But the exhibits, which included photographs showing Holder’s injuries, had been returned to the district attorney’s office and Hardy’s attorney two days before the NFL filed its motion.
Hardy’s representatives indicated last week they would seek immediate reinstatement after a federal judge sided with Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson in his disciplinary dealings with the league.
But an NFL official said Hardy – who remains on the exempt list – had yet to be disciplined and therefore could not be reinstated.
Lisa Friel, a former sex crimes prosecutor in New York, has been leading the Hardy investigation. The NFL hired Friel last fall after Commissioner Roger Goodell’s mishandling of the Ray Rice domestic violence case.
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