The Panthers and defensive end Greg Hardy still haven't agreed on a long-term contract.
But the team at least has to come up with a way to encourage Hardy to show up for the voluntary offseason workouts.
The Panthers have agreed to give Hardy as much as $1.3 million – a 10 percent advance on his $13.1 million franchise tender – if he attends all of the workouts, according to a league source with knowledge of the arrangement.
Hardy can collect the advance by making four workouts a week, the source said.
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Without the agreement – technically a contract restructuring – Hardy would not have been paid anything until September, which is customary for NFL players.
Hardy, 25, had his salary reduced $100,000 in 2013 for failing to participate in 90 percent of the offseason workout program each of the past two years.
The Panthers used the franchise tag on Hardy after he tied Kevin Greene's franchise record with 15 sacks in 2013. Hardy, who ranked third in the league in sacks, has 26 the past two seasons.
Carolina has until July 15 to get a long-term deal done with Hardy. Otherwise, he'll play the 2014 season on the franchise tender, after which he could hit the market or be tagged again.