Carolina Panthers

Former Carolina Panthers DE Greg Hardy has suspension reduced to 4 games

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy (76) had his NFL suspension reduced from 10 games to four on appeal.
Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy (76) had his NFL suspension reduced from 10 games to four on appeal. AP

Former Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy’s 10-game suspension for the 2015 season has been reduced to four games without pay, the NFL announced Friday.

Now with the Dallas Cowboys, Hardy has been fighting his suspension since late April when the league handed down the punishment that was four games beyond its six-game policy for first-time offenders.

The four-game suspension falls between the minimum six-game suspension, which was put in place by the NFL after it revised its stance regarding domestic violence last summer, and the two-game suspension Hardy and his team have reportedly fought for.

“I will confer with Greg, the NFL (Players Association) and his lawyers to discuss our next move,” Hardy’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said in an email. “Still considering further legal action.”

Last July, Hardy was found guilty by a district court judge in Mecklenburg County of assault on a female and communicating threats. The verdict stemmed from a May 13, 2014, incident in Hardy’s uptown condo where Nicole Holder, Hardy’s ex-girlfriend, alleged Hardy choked her, slammed her on a futon topped with semiautomatic rifles and threatened to kill her.

Hardy appealed for a jury trial and was set to receive one in February, but Holder did not appear for court and the district attorney did not believe there was sufficient evidence without her. The charges against Hardy were dismissed.

Prosecutors, who for months could not reach Holder, believed Holder had received an out-of-court settlement with Hardy.

The Panthers did not re-sign Hardy and he signed a one-year contract with the Cowboys in March for up to $13.2 million. In April he was suspended for 10 games and appealed the ruling in May.

Had the 10-game suspension be upheld, Hardy would have first returned to the field on Thanksgiving Day against the Panthers.

The Panthers are now in line for an extra draft pick next year. Because Hardy was signed for more than $8 million this year, if he plays more than 10 games for Dallas, Carolina could receive a compensatory third-round pick in the 2016 draft. That won’t be determined until next spring.

Jones: 704-358-5323; Twitter: @jjones9

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