Carolina Panthers 2013 Breakout Candidate: Greg Hardy

By Andrew Fisher
Greg Hardy
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Hardy can certainly talk the talk, but now we’ll find out if he can walk the walk. The Carolina Panthers‘ defensive end recently made headlines when he said his goal is to rack up 50 sacks in 2013. Of course he was just being over the top to a reporter, but there’s no doubt Hardy needs to have a breakout season.

2013 is the final year of his rookie contract with the Panthers, so he clearly will have many reasons to perform well this season. His career has trended upward so far, as he’s produced a little more each year. He amassed a career-high 11 sacks a season ago, and it’s safe to say that the more sacks he gets this year, the more money he will get in his new contract next year.

Besides financial reasons, 2013 is prime breakout year for Hardy because of all the new talent around him. The Panthers didn’t fool around in the draft, selecting two defensive tackles in rounds one and two (Star Lotulelei, Kawann Martin). Along with Charles Johnson and the other defensive linemen in Carolina, Hardy has deemed the group Monsters Inc.

All of these factors add up to a breakout year for Greg Hardy. He’s got financial motivation, and the talent around him is better than ever. At only 24-years of age, the ceiling is very high for the DE. He has all the physical attributes to be a long-term success, and clearly he already has the confidence of a champion.


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