Monday mornings are synonymous with most everything horrible and unholy for a large majority of Americans (Dallas Cowboys fans or not) who are off to start their work week. Literally, it is the time furthest away from the weekend and the last time you might expect to hear any good news.
Then, like a double shot of espresso, you happen to be checking your Twitter feed and you see this…
"sources tell me #Cowboys are negotiating to sign FA defensive end Greg Hardy @1053thefan"
Thank you Mike Fisher from 105.3 The Fan!
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After what could only be considered a very auspicious start to free agency, a move like this could be exactly what the doctor ordered.
Enough with filling out the roster with fullbacks and back up linebackers, it’s time to get Cowboys’ defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli a fun toy to utilize on seek and destroy missions aimed at opposing quarterbacks.
There are definitely both pros and cons to a move like this however.
Let’s break down both of those and see if it would really be worth it to kick the tires on the former Carolina Panther standout.
- Hardy’s 15 sacks in 2013 would have been more than double that of any current Dallas Cowboy on the roster. In fact, his career total of 34 sacks in just five years would be more than anyone currently putting on a helmet with a Star on the side.
- He only played in one game last season, meaning he has one year less of wear and tear on him.
- One locker room leader, safety Barry Church, is definitely on board with the move. Church said this during a radio interview:
"“He could make not only my job a lot easier, but everybody on the back end’s job a lot easier. When you have a guy like that who can pressure the quarterback and consistently get back there and make the quarterback throw errant passes and tips and overthrows, that’s what we love back there in the secondary.”“It’ll definitely give us an opportunity to cover the receivers a lot less time than what we had to last year. From what I understand he’s a great teammate, a great guy, we all make mistakes here and there. I’m sure he’s going to get his second chance with a team here coming up soon, hopefully it will be with us.”"
- Due to his off the field issues, he will certainly be cheaper than his previous $13.1M salary that he earned in 2014. In fact, he may even cheaper than expected with a possible suspension looming over his head.
- The possible suspension looming. When it comes to commissioner Roger Goodell, no one really knows what to expect. It is almost if he literally just spins a wheel and goes with whatever spot the spinner lands.
- It certainly is a double-edged sword when dealing with someone accused of domestic violence, especially to the level of which it was reported.
- The year off may create some kind of rust which would hinder the performance you are gambling on getting.
- There is bound to be another team out there, equally interested and probably more desperate which could start an unwanted bidding war.
Ultimately, I believe it’s worth the risk. There are very few times that a dominate pass rusher in the prime of his career becomes available at a price that you get to name.
If we have learned anything over the past two years, it’s that the contract that he will be offered will be extremely team-friendly. It is likely to have a lot of language in it that will void any responsibility for any further off the field transgressions.
It may even mirror the kind of deal that defensive tackle Henry Melton was given last year where he made a pittance in his “show me” season with a team option for something much bigger down the road.
I am not worried about Hardy’s presence affecting team chemistry as this team has the type of built in leadership that will control anything that may arise.
It is clear that Hardy definitely has motivation to be on his best behavior. I would not expect any future chances being handed out if he messes up what is soon to be his second and last one. Hopefully it is just in a darker shade of blue than he was formerly used to.