He might only stay another year, but there is no doubt it was the right move. The Carolina Panthers just recently placed a franchise tag on defensive star Greg Hardy which will keep him on the team for the foreseeable future. During the early part of the offseason, Hardy stated he was looking for a large, long-term contract that the franchise tag will not provide. However, he will be staying in Carolina.
The franchise tag may not sit well with Hardy (losing out on that much money can rub a lot of top-tier athletes the wrong way) and he very well may not want to stay in Carolina in the coming years, but for the 2014 season he’ll be suiting up in the black and blue. This was a key move for Carolina that needed to happen and, regardless of what the future holds or how disgruntled Hardy may be, the Panthers are making the right moves at the right times to keep their franchise intact.
Some experts have stated that this move could be harmful to the Panthers in the long run and may cause Hardy to part with the team in the coming years. The tag will only guarantee that Hardy stays for 2014, but right now that’s all that matters. It’s all about the now in Carolina, especially with so much uncertainty looming over the heads of the organization, and landing one big fish will at least give their management a little breathing room. Yes, the Panthers want to build a strong franchise, but that franchise will go on with or without Hardy. The most important aspect of their current situation is winning games.
The Panthers came out of nowhere last season, storming the proverbial gates of the football world and taking themselves to a bye in the playoffs. If they fall short of the playoffs this year, with the same team or not, everyone in the organization from Dave Gettleman to Ron Rivera to Cam Newton is going to be under the gun. The first step of a successful organization is to win games, and keeping Hardy on the team, no matter how long, is going to do just that.