The Carolina Panthers announced at 4:30 p.m. today that Pro Bowl defensive end Greg Hardy has been placed on the Exempt/Commissioner’s permission list.
The move means Hardy will be taking a voluntary leave from the team in which he can be at the facility, but not attend practices or games. The length of his suspension (via carolinapanthers.com’s Bryan Strickland) will be based on the length of his court proceedings, as Hardy was convicted by a North Carolina judge in June of assaulting a female and communicating threats, and appealed to a jury trial that will begin November 17.
The move follows the placing of Adrian Peterson on the Exempt/Commissioner’s permission list early Wednesday morning. Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman commented on the unique time and circumstances surrounding the decision to have Hardy stay away on-field activities at a press conference.
“There is no rule book for this,” said Gettleman. “Our overriding goal has always been to do the right thing.”
Head coach Ron Rivera also spoke at the press conference, saying he expects Hardy to be back in November. Rivera also said that Hardy is “hurt” and that the situation is “tough”.
“Greg is still part of this football team,” said Rivera. “We have done nothing but put him on a leave of absence.”
“We’re worried about the wrong things…trying to find out who to blame. I hope people understand we’re trying to get this right.”
The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) released a statement on the decision involving Hardy and the team:
“Today, Greg Hardy made a decision to take a voluntary leave of absence to resolve his pending legal issue. The NFLPA and NFL worked with Greg, his representatives and the Carolina Panthers on this matter. We support this decision and hope the best for him and his family.”
The NFL also released a statement supporting the decision:
“We support the decision that Greg Hardy and the Panthers made today.”
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