Can't say I agree with most of your conclusions. First of all as DEs go, Hardy was great this year not good. Good is 25 tackles and 5 or 6 sacks. Great is 3rd in sacks overall with 15 sacks and 59 tackles. Johnson meanwhile had 11 sacks and 30 tackles. Addison and Anderson combined didn't have what Hardy had alone.
The point is all your arguments about how we can't afford Hardy and it will hurt the offense has no merit. We can easily pay Hardy and still have plenty to spend on FA and the draft. In fact the argument could be made that signing Hardy goes a long way to us getting an OL or WR in the first or second instead of going for a DE. We won't have to give up anything. Truth is we have more in dead cap money from the Beason debacle than it will cost us to keep Hardy this year. We could have a cap hit as little as 5 or 6 million for Hardy this year.
So no, we don't have to have one or the other, there is no reason we can't have both.
Worse for us would be Hardy going to a division rival and having to face him twice a year.
How do you figure $6 mill goes against the cap if we resign hardy? The guy wants $12mil he's reportedly turned down 10, we have around $13 mil in cap space even with restructures and cuts we will lucky to be over $20 mil in cap space with 21 spots to fill on the roster! Hardy isn't and shouldn't happen not if it takes away from other positions, the one main thing holding this team back is offense and it's lack of ability and talent! hardy is a good player but he's not jj watt in my opinion and I don't think he's worth a Charles Johnson type contract, if he had another season similar to last if pay him, but when I look at this team the problem is the secondary, if you have a better secondary then the pressure isn't on the front four so much, as it was all last season to get constant pressure, when it didnt the secondary was exposed,and hardy is key to that with the front four, but if that secondary is addressed then it makes hardys leaving less painful if you see what I'm saying, ideal world he stays we build a great secondary and have number one ranked defense, and have space to address the offense I just can't see how it's done but I'm hoping I'm wrong, remeber the guy was a diamond pickup he was a sixth rounder not expected to be as good as he has been, there would be no need to go get a DE in the draft this year just bcos hardy goes! We have depth and can pick up a free agent DE or late draft pickup, seriously it's not the end of the world! Let's concentrate on offense and put up points and not need to depend in the defence again this would take away the pain of losing hardy, you cover other bases to camouflage another less handicapped one, seriously a better offense and secondary will more than make up for Greg hardy leaving that just obvious