The man responsible for bringing Greg Hardy to Dallas had little to say about the embattled defensive end Monday at the NFL owners meetings.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who signed Hardy to an incentive-laden, one-year deal last week, briefly discussed the former Carolina Panthers Pro Bowler while Jones walked to a meeting at the Arizona Biltmore.
In a statement released by the team last week, Jones said the Cowboys had done “a thorough background review” of Hardy over the past few weeks.
Asked Monday what that process entailed, Jones said: “He’s a guy that we have a lot of information on.”
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Panthers owner Jerry Richardson decided months ago to part ways with Hardy, who remains on the commissioner’s exempt list while the NFL investigates Hardy’s domestic violence case.
Based on how they structured his contract, the Cowboys are prepared for a Hardy suspension, something Chief Operating Officer Stephen Jones alluded to Monday when he told reporters Dallas had its “eyes wide open.”
Hardy’s deal includes a base salary of $745,000, the minimum for a five-year player, and a whopping $9.25 million in per-game roster bonuses. Hardy will miss out on $578,125 for each game he’s not on the active, 53-man roster.
Stephen Jones said he wouldn’t speculate on when the NFL will conclude its investigation. Last week the league filed a lawsuit to obtain the evidence from Hardy’s bench trial in July, specifically photos of accuser Nicole Holder’s alleged injuries and a picture of Hardy’s gun-covered futon from the night of the altercation last May.
Stephen Jones said he and his father would address the acquisition of Hardy in more depth Tuesday. Before he ducked out of the sun and into his meeting Monday, Jerry Jones said: “Certainly, we think he’s a great player at a position of need for us. And we’re really confident in him.”
Comp picks: The Panthers picked up a pair of compensatory picks – a fifth- and a sixth-rounder – in the NFL’s annual awarding of draft picks for free agents gained and lost.
With the two compensatory picks, the Panthers will have a total of nine selections in the draft, which will be April 30 to May 2 in Chicago.
The NFL determines compensatory picks based on a formula that weighs the salary, playing time and postseason honors for free agents teams acquired and lost the previous offseason.
The Panthers lost receivers Brandon LaFell, Ted Ginn Jr. (since re-acquired) and Domenik Hixon and defensive backs Mike Mitchell and Captain Munnerlyn. They signed cornerback Antoine Cason, receiver Jerricho Cotchery and tight end Ed Dickson.
All-time leading receiver Steve Smith signed with Baltimore after the Panthers cut him, so he did not factor into the comp pick formula.
Three times the Panthers have received three comp picks, most recently in 2011. They have been awarded a total of 16 in their history.
No blackouts in 2015: The NFL announced it is lifting its blackout policy for 2015, a rule that prevents games from being televised in local markets when the home teams fails to sell enough tickets.
The Panthers have gone 125 consecutive games without being affected by the blackout rule.
The NFL plans to evaluate the policy again next year.
Extra points: Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he believes there will be two teams in Los Angeles next season, and said a shared stadium similar to the arrangement between the Giants and Jets at MetLife Stadium would be necessary from a financial standpoint.
St. Louis, Oakland and San Diego have explored moving to L.A., which has been without an NFL team since 1994 when the Rams and Raiders relocated.
▪ After Miami signed former Detroit defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said he received a call from billionaire Warren Buffett, the Berkshire Hathaway CEO who has become something of a mentor to Suh.
Ross said he hopes to build a similar relationship with Suh, who signed a six-year, $114 million contract with Miami that was the biggest ever for a defensive player.
“I love mentoring young guys. That’s how I built my company,” said Ross, a real estate mogul. “With a guy with the character he has and the opportunities he’ll have, it’s kind of fun to work with a guy like that.”
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