|Panthers put franchise tag on Hardy|
|DE gets another year in Carolina|
|Published Friday, February 28, 2014 6:07 pm|
The Kraken is going to be a Carolina Panther for at least another season.
The Panthers announced Friday that it has designated defensive end Greg Hardy as a franchise player after he tied a franchise record with 15 sacks and earned a Pro Bowl berth.
“We are very pleased that Greg will be back with the Panthers next season,” Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said. “He was a big reason we were able to lead the League in sacks last year and keeps our defensive line intact.”
In addition to making his first career Pro Bowl invitation, Hardy earned a spot on the Associated Press All-Pro second team honors after ranking third in the NFL and tying the team record with 15 sacks, previously accomplished by Kevin Greene in 1998. Hardy led the Panthers with 38 quarterback pressures and posted a career-high 67 tackles as part of a unit that ranked second in the NFL in total defense and points allowed and led the league in sacks.
“The franchise mechanism gives us time to secure the services of a very good player while we continue to look at the future of Greg with the Carolina Panthers,” General Manager Dave Gettleman said. “We have had great dialogue with both Greg and his agent. It was important to keep our defensive front together.”
Hardy, who has played in 62 games (39 starts) with Carolina over four seasons, has 33 career sacks.
Hardy and fellow defensive end Charles Johnson were the only set of teammates in the NFL with 10 or more sacks in each of the last two seasons. In the last two seasons, they have combined for 49.5 sacks, tied for most in the league.
Hardy is the fifth player in Panthers history to receive the franchise tag, which punter Todd Sauerbrun (2003), offensive tackle Jordan Gross (2008), defensive end Julius Peppers (2009) and center Ryan Kalil (2011).
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