Around Town

Greg Hardy can’t stay out of the headlines -- and he’s not even playing

The Story

Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy has been caught in the headlines three times in the last week:

(1) Trial date: On Monday, his Superior Court trial date on assault charges was set for Feb. 9. Hardy is appealing a lower court’s July conviction on misdemeanor charges that he assaulted his former girlfriend and threatened to kill her. In his new trial, he’ll be tried by a jury, which must be unanimous in its decision.

A quick recap: Hardy’s former girlfriend claims he flung her from the bed, threw her into a bathtub, then tossed her on a futon covered with rifles. She said he dragged her by her hair and threatened to kill her. Hardy says she’s erratic and was high that night and acting crazy.

Should be quite the trial.

(2) Getting paid: Even though Hardy wasn’t allowed to play, he still got paid $48,000 for the Panthers playoff win against Arizona. That’s because he was on the NFL’s exempt list. If Carolina had won against Seattle, he would have gotten another $44K. In addition, Hardy has gotten regular paychecks during the season, totaling $11.5 million.

(3) Ghost in the locker room: The Panthers aren’t expected to re-sign Hardy next year. So on Monday, he quietly cleared out his locker, said a few farewells and then left this note on a team whiteboard:

Translation: “I LOVE YOU GUYS ALL J.P. [just playing] GET KRAKEN”  “(but mostly [illegible] the Run N Backs & Monster Inc. & the Big Mexicano)”

He’s apparently giving shout-outs to running backs, the defensive line and head coach Ron Rivera.

C5’s Take

Dude has been strutting all over social media, too. We can say this for sure: He’s not shy.

 Photo: Davie Hinshaw / Charlotte Observer