Hardy isnt going anywhere for 18 months - the judge told him that yesterday. At this point trading him is Not an option at all.
and I think Hardy might have cooked his goose with the judge yesterday when he got on the witness stand and started his smart assery.
Because he is appealing the ruling and taking it to a jury, North Carolina law allows Hardy's punishment to be delayed until the trial. The judge can't stop the Panthers from trading him. But he probably isn't going anywhere since he'll likely only be suspended a few games and he's getting paid quite a bit of money this season.
I don't understand why we franchised him if we didn't plan to sign him long term or try to trade him. Everyone points to the RB contracts and Beason as limiting our cap mobility, but that Hardy tag is HUGE this year. We may just be setting ourselves up to get Julius'd again.
Consider it a one year rental while they train a replacement. They were stoked to get Kony Ealy. We've seen the negative effects of what big long term deals can do to a team if they don't pan out. Hardy is still pretty young and has a handful of good seasons ahead of him if he stays out of trouble, but is it worth the risk/price? NFL teams are pretty fluid...you have to have guys waiting in the wings at all positions to stay competitive.
Reporters are so oblivious. They just look at what happened in the offseason and go "They're going to struggle because they lost Steve Smith". It's so fuging dumb to say that because Steve is 35 and obviously declining. No one shed a tear when Brandon LaDrops was released and as much as I liked Ted Ginn, it's not like he set the world on fire in Carolina. He had more value as a returner than a receiver honestly. And Hixon? He had one catch that mattered and without that no one would have even known he was on the team.
But in regards to Kelvin Benjamin, he won't be relied on as much as people think. His mere presence on the field commands a safety keep an eye on him because of his physical gifts. When you've got a 6'5 240 receiver with 4.6 speed, you can't leave a 5'10 corner on him alone or else he can get beat with height. The Saints do it with Jimmy Graham all the time (see Carolina vs New Orleans in 2013 both times). This will keep defenses from stacking the box and allow the running game to develop. Doesn't matter if KB can run precise routes his rookie year because that's not what the Panthers will be asking from him. They're asking him to run fade routes to back the safeties off and block his ass off to open up the run game. Anything else they get from him will be gravy. With Tolbert, Olsen, KB and Cam...Carolina will be very hard to stop in the red zone.
These reporters are so misinformed they should just stop writing. The Panthers have a solid winning formula and unless they get the ridiculous bad luck of 2012 again I fully expect them to contend for a playoff spot.