CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The Panthers must decide how Pro Bowl defensive end Greg Hardy's conviction on charges of assault on a female and communicating threats will impact his long-term future in Carolina.
Carolina made Hardy its franchise player in March, signing him to a one-year, $13.1 million deal after a 15-sack season last year. But talks of a long-term deal fizzled after Hardy was first arrested May 13.
The team isn't commenting on Tuesday night's guilty verdict until after Hardy's appeal is heard. But some former Panthers say the news won't sit well with team owner Jerry Richardson, who has shied away from signing players who could draw negative attention to the organization.
The Panthers could release Hardy for conduct detrimental to the team, but there's no guarantee they'd recoup his hefty salary.
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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
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