NFL AM: Greg Hardy Suspended 10 Games


NFL Suspends Greg Hardy for 10 games:

Greg Hardy may have been able to pay off his victim to get out of his domestic violence charges in North Carolina, but after the NFL conducted its own investigation, they found more than enough evidence to suspend the new Dallas Cowboys defensive end for more than half of the upcoming season.

After a thorough investigation by T&M Protection Resources’ Lisa Friel, the NFL found that Hardy violated the NFL’s personal conduct policy by using physical force against his former girlfriend at least four times during an altercation in May of 2013.

First, he used physical force against her which caused her to land in a bathtub. Second, he used physical force against her which caused her to land on a futon that was covered with at least four semi-automatic rifles. Third, he used physical force against her by placing his hands around Ms. Holder’s neck and applying enough pressure to leave visible marks. And fourth, he used physical force to shove Ms. Holder against a wall in his apartment’s entry hallway.

“The net effect of these acts was that Ms. Holder was severely traumatized and sustained a range of injuries, including bruises and scratches on her neck, shoulders, upper chest, back, arms and feet,” Commissioner Goodell wrote. “The use of physical force under the circumstances present here, against a woman substantially smaller than you and in the presence of powerful, military-style assault weapons, constitutes a significant act of violence in violation of the Personal Conduct Policy.”

It’s important to remember that this entire altercation was a result of Hardy being unable to cope with the fact that his ex-girlfriend used to date St. Louis based rapper, Nelly. This amount of rage over something so minor is a clear indication that Hardy has no control over his emotions, and shouldn’t be trusted moving forward.

Hardy’s former teammate Ben Hartsock confirmed as much during an interview with ESPN 103.3 in Dallas, stating, “You trust him to the extent that you don’t necessarily know what you’re going to get,” Hartsock explained.  “The Greg Hardy that was on the field was going to be a nightmare for the opposing team. But then you go in and everybody is in the hot tub or the cold tub after practice just shooting the breeze and the guy carries on a very reasonable, level-headed inquisitive type of conversation, but then there are other times when he’s just unmanageable. “

The Cowboys better find a way to manage Hardy and his mental capacity issues, because the NFL has made it clear that any further violation of the league’s conduct policy may be his last.

“You must have no further adverse involvement with law enforcement and must not commit any additional violations of league policies,” Commissioner Goodell wrote. “In that respect, you should understand that another violation of this nature may result in your banishment from the NFL.”

Hardy has three days to appeal the NFL’s decision.

Bengals extend Marvin Lewis though 2016:

Cincinnati Bengals fans are probably scratching their heads over why the head coach who has seen his team ejected from the playoffs in round one in four consecutive years has received yet another contract extension from the team, but they shouldn’t.

For all of his faults, Marvin Lewis has coached the Bengals to four consecutive playoff appearances, and he’s had the Bengals in the playoffs six times during his tenure as coach. Also, the one-year extension has become par for the course for NFL teams who don’t want the lingering issue of a lame-duck coach hanging over the team. Lewis’ extension certainly doesn’t mean he’ll be back in 2016.

Cincinnati is probably as likely as any team in football to hold onto a coach just so they don’t have to pay him to sit at home, but teams fire coaches with years left on their contract all the time, and a one-year deal is an indicator that a team is considering a change.

The Bengals have been a good football team in recent years, but one is left to wonder how much that has to do with Lewis, and how much it has to do with the fact that Cincinnati has done a very nice job in recent drafts.

The Bengals will once again enter the season with one of the most talented rosters in the AFC and with a coach and quarterback that need a playoff victory as much as any tandem in football. Andy Dalton can be a solid NFL quarterback, and Lewis could coach his team to a fifth straight playoff appearance, but if they can’t find a way to get passed round one this season, don’t be surprised if the Bengals start looking for a way to replace both of them.

Of course, we are talking about the Cincinnati Bengals here, so don’t be surprised if they don’t.

Greg Jennings signs with the Dolphins:

While it’s not the kind of move that will end speculation that the Miami Dolphins may use the 14th overall pick in the draft on a receiver, Miami’s signing of veteran wide receiver Greg Jennings gives the Dolphins a solid veteran presence for what will be a young receiver group.

Jennings isn’t one of the best receivers in football any longer, but outside of an injury shortened, eight-game, 2011, Jennings has had over 50 receptions and 700 yards every year since his rookie season. Even Jennings last two years in Minnesota have been quietly productive. In 2013, Jennings finished with 68 receptions for 804 yards and 6-touchdowns, and in 2014, Jennings had another 59 catches for 742 yard and 4-touchdowns.

The Dolphins passing game will lean heavily on Jennings, second-year standout Jarvis Landry and newly acquired Kenny Stills while developing any rookie receiver they do draft. At this point in his career, Jennings is a solid possession receiver, but it might be in helping develop a rookie receiver where Jennings might provide the most value.

Miami’s big plays in the passing game will likely come from Landry and Stills, but if the Dolphins do draft a receiver early, they’ll get their money’s worth and them some out of Jennings. Jennings is a pro, and the kind of guy who understands not just how to succeed in the NFL, but how to last in the NFL at a position always dominated by youth and speed.

The wisdom Jennings will be able to impart on the young Miami receivers will likely be more valuable than anything he does on the field. This may not be a big splash signing for Miami, but it’s a very good one.

About Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan has covered the NFL for almost a decade and is a host and producer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio flagship 620WDAE/95.3FM. Pat covers the NFC South and NFC East for Football Insiders. Follow him on Twitter, @PatDonovanNFL.