After a weird comeback season with the Dallas Cowboys, Greg Hardy is waiting for a team, any team, to sign him. While there’s been radio silence regarding him up to this point, it wouldn’t be surprising if he ends up playing for one of the following teams: Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles and the New Orleans Saints.
Basically, it’ll come down to what price Greg Hardy is willing to settle on. General managers might be calling him a very hard sell or even toxic, but for someone who is always a potential for double-digit sacks in a season, there has to be room in the NFL. He’s rumored to be working on his behavior, and maybe making some sort of public apology will be the “extra mile” effort that lands him on a team. Remember, Ray Rice wasn’t just ostracized for domestic abuse. He wasn’t very good anymore. Hardy, 27, is still a very good pass rusher and defensive player overall.
Teams that really need a pass rusher and could end up signing Hardy are the Atlanta Falcons, with only 19 sacks in 2016. The Falcons need help on the first two downs, although Hardy is probably an underrated run defender too. What the Falcons have, even after free agency and the draft, simply isn’t going to be enough to present a significant improvement on that front.
The Bills make an interesting option. Rex Ryan loves him some troublesome players, and Rob Ryan loves to blitz. Last season, surprisingly, the defense was the weak spot for the Bills, missing the playoffs for a 16th consecutive time. But their defense is changing into the 3-4, and that might a bit too strange and different for Hardy to make an impact on.
The Lions have a strong threesome in their four man front, but they could use an upgrade over Devin Taylor and Wallace Gillberry. A foursome that includes Hardy, Ezekiel Ansah, Haloti Ngata and rookie A’Shawn Robinson might put the Lions back in the upper echelon of defensive lines.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have depth at the edge, but not one standout talent. The Bucs were rumored to be considering Hardy before the Dallas Cowboys signed him, so they may be still following him, waiting for it to be a tad more socially acceptable, and mostly for his price to drop.
There are other teams that could use Hardy and are secretly interested: The Eagles, Saints, and Raiders. However, in these teams case, the domestic abuse issue is something their owners don’t want to glance over. It has nothing to do with what he’d add to the team as a player.
Hardy played in 12 games last season for the Cowboys, finishing with six sacks, one interception, and 35 tackles. He was a pro-bowler in 2013 with the Panthers, getting to the quarterback 15 times.