Should Broncos consider Greg Hardy?


With news today that the domestic violence charges against Greg Hardy have been dismissed, his legal troubles regarding the matter are behind him. Despite this news, the Panthers have reportedly decided to move on from Hardy and let him become a free agent.

In light of this, should the Broncos to take a controversial and somewhat calculated risk on Hardy? The Broncos Super Bowl window is presumably open for one more year if Peyton Manning returns as expected, and they could certainly use somebody of Greg Hardy’s immense talent.

But is it worth it? Can they afford it financially? Should they take what would certainly be a big public relations hit?

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Hardy’s troubles regarding his domestic violence case are gone, but he is certainly still vulnerable to a league suspension under the NFL code of conduct policy. Some reports cite a very real possibility that he is still suspended for 6 games considering the circumstances of the case.

For those of you not up to speed, Hardy was found guilty of domestic violence last July then appealed the ruling. His appeals case was set to begin but the victim had a sudden change of heart and is unwilling to cooperate and can’t be found to be subpoenaed to testify. Those close to the case have reliable information that a civil agreement has been reached between Hardy and the victim.

Basically, he paid her not to pursue the matter further, so they had no choice to but to dismiss the charges.

Hardy is clearly on very thin ice with both the league and in the court of public opinion. Domestic violence has become the utmost important issue for the NFL since the Ray Rice debacle and the NFL will not tread lightly again regarding the matter.

Furthermore, the public is rightfully more unnaccepting of the crime of domestic violence because of the very graphic nature of the Ray Rice situation. As a result, Hardy may never regain any semblance of respect amongst fans who aren’t required to abide by court technicalities.

So should the Broncos consider Hardy, all things considered?

It’s extremely difficult to say how much Hardy can expect to get paid. Were the legal troubles non-existent Hardy would command nearly as much as any DE in the league. He’s still only 26 years old and was coming off of back to back double digit sack seasons. Talent-wise he’s about as good as there is in the league.

However, and it’s a big however, his legal troubles are very existent. He carries a significant amount of risk and could be suspended for a good chunk of the season. This will presumably drive his price down and shrink his list of potential suitors and make him more affordable.

Elway is very adept at making contracts team-friendly and getting the numbers to work. If Elway wants Hardy, I’m certain he can make it happen.

However, the biggest question is, should the Broncos sign a guy who was found guilty of domestic violence, but skated because of a technicality, of sorts?

It’s a conundrum that not only the NFL has faced for decades, but it’s an existential question. Do the ends justify the means?

Do you sign a player with serious character concerns just because he can play? How much does character matter? Is winning a super bowl worth compromising your team values? Does winning trump everything?

If I had to guess, I would expect Elway to take a pass on Greg Hardy. He is certainly alluring and the dismissal of his case gives a team a scapegoat, of sorts, to justify signing him. However, I think Elway values players with high character and guys who do things the right way.

Despite his tremendous ability, I just don’t see the Broncos taking a chance on a guy like Hardy. It sends the wrong message and the money would be better spent on a position of greater need and on a player who wouldn’t bring potential distraction.

What do you think? Would you want the Broncos to pursue Hardy if the price is right?