Last week, the Jacksonville Jaguars brought in troubled defensive lineman Greg Hardy for tryouts, indicating that the team was contemplating signing him. With all the offseason moves the Jaguars have made, the addition of Hardy would give them one of the best defenses in the league on paper, and improve their NFL odds for the season.
However, when news of the Jaguars working Hardy out came out, there were a lot of mixed reactions about bringing in a player with the baggage Hardy has.
In 2014, Hardy was arrested for assaulting his then girlfriend, throwing her on a bed filled with guns, and threatening to kill her. Hardy was found guilty by a judge, but requested a new trial by jury. The case was eventually dismissed when the woman refused to testify against him.
When news of the arrest came out, the Carolina Panthers suspended Hardy for the final 15 games of the regular season, and the NFL suspended him for the first four games of the 2015 season. Despite the suspension, the Dallas Cowboys signed Hardy to a one-year contract, but didn’t extend the contract after the season was over.
During his one season in Dallas, Hardy didn’t show any remorse for his actions, and insisted he was the victim. He also made some comments about Tom Brady’s wife and was caught on camera arguing with teammates.
The Cowboys would probably have put up with some of the distractions caused by Hardy if he was productive on the field, but he wasn’t, which was why the team cut ties with him.
Jaguars’ general manager Dave Caldwell responded to some of the criticism levied at the team for bringing in Hardy by calling the workout a fact finding mission to bolster their defensive line.
Caldwell said the Jaguars weren’t going to sign Hardy after his two-day workout, but the team wanted to see him on the field to get enough information to help them determine if he is a player they can sign in the future.
According to Caldwell, bringing Hardy in gave them a way to evaluate him in case they have an injury on their defensive line and have to add an extra player. By seeing what he can do, it will make it easier for the team to determine if Hardy can help them win games.
Caldwell also added that the team asked Hardy about his domestic violence case when he came in for the workout. However, Caldwell didn’t go into the specifics of what was asked and how Hardy responded.
27-year-old Hardy has 40 sacks in six seasons, including six in 12 games for the Cowboys last year.
Caldwell said he was aware of the potential backlash the team faces if they decide to sign Hardy, and said it is a decision that won’t be made lightly.
Caldwell called domestic violence a serious issue and something that the Jaguars and NFL are strongly against. He added that the Jaguars will do what they believe is in the best interest of their team, since the bottom line is to win games, the team will turn over every rock to find players that can help them win games.