M any Panthers’ fans will never forgive Marty Hurney for the mistakes he made. But the former general manager made the Super Bowl once, the NFC Championship twice, and the playoffs three times during his first seven years.
Hurney’s biggest self-inflicted wounds came during his final four drafts. Of the Panthers’ 32 picks those years, only seven remain on the roster. Of those seven, Greg Hardy is the lone player left from Carolina’s 17 combined selections during the 2009 and 2010 drafts.
The defensive end would have been an early-round pick in 2010, but teams were concerned about his off-the-field behavior. Hurney finally grabbed him in the sixth round. It was arguably his biggest steal in his 11 drafts.
So Wednesday, the day after Hardy was found guilty of domestic violence by a North Carolina judge, made for some fascinating radio. The man who drafted Hardy to Carolina is now the co-host of ‘Hurney and Gardner’ on ESPN 730 in Charlotte.
Hurney spent more than 20 minutes breaking down what the Panthers may be planning to do now with their 25-year-old star. He may not work there anymore, but few know the inner workings of the building better than Hurney. If you can’t listen to the entire spot, some of his most interesting comments are below.
When Hardy May Face Discipline From The NFL
“Normally, the league’s stance is they don’t address anything until the legal process concludes. Part of that legal process is the appeal process. So if they follow what they usually do, I don’t think the league will get involved in this until the appeal process is through. Could they come out and say he was found guilty and have Roger Goodell address it right now? They could, but I don’t think they have in the past.”
When Hardy May Face Discipline From The Panthers
“The Panthers like taking care of their own house. Mr. Richardson likes taking care of his own problems. Could they suspend Greg Hardy for two to four games and say, ‘Listen, conduct detrimental because the situation you put yourself in put our organization in a bad light.’ Could they do it? They could. The league would discourage them from doing that, and I’ve been on the other end of the phone. But if the Panthers and Mr. Richardson feel like that’s the thing to do, they could do that.”
Why The Panthers May Hesitate To Discipline Hardy
1.) “As soon as they do that, the NFL Players Association would likely file a grievance, an expedited grievance. It would be heard by an arbitrator on the basis you’re innocent until proven guilty. And I think at that point, if the grievance is found in Greg Hardy’s favor, now he’s back in the locker room, he’s back with the team, and it’s probably even more of a distraction than it even was.”
2.) “I can’t tell you how much the league wants to handle this. The system is set up where the league wants to handle player discipline. They don’t want the Panthers to come in and take it on because they know that legally it’s much tighter if Roger Goodell comes in after the process is done.”
Why Hardy’s Sarcastic Answers About Champagne May Have Upset The Panthers
“It’s respect, not only to the person asking the question, but to everybody, to the city. You’re in this situation, now don’t make it worse. Don’t get cute, don’t give a cute answer. I’ve heard that time and time again. Don’t get cute, just be respectful and be direct.”
Why Hardy’s Arrest Had No Bearing On Him Getting A Long-Term Deal
“I was a little bit surprised (Tuesday) when people were making a big deal out of the 15th being the last day the Panthers could extend Greg. Well, they had never talked an extension. It was their intent from day one to do a one-year deal with him. You can look at the contract, by advancing him a million dollars of his 13 million-dollar base said that. There were never any discussions about a long-term deal.”
Why Hardy’s Situation Matters So Much To The Panthers
“I feel badly for the Panthers and Mr. Richardson just because I know, more than any other team in the league, this affects them more. It’s so important for the employees and the players to represent the organization, the city, the region. That’s stressed from day one. There’s isn’t an organization that cares more about it.”
- Michael McCann predicts Hardy will soon meet with Roger Goodell. — SI.com
- Doug Farrar profiles Kenjon Barner, who’s just as fast, but now 25 pounds heavier than he was in college. — SI.com
- Set your DVRs for Sunday at 10 a.m. — BBR
- Kawann Short and a good cause. — firstbook.org
- Jonathan Stewart and a big plane. — Twitter
- Some may turn this quote from Saints’ tight end Ben Watson into a story. Read it, then watch it at 1:55. It’s mostly a planned joke, not bulletin board stuff. — NFL.com
- The Panthers are expanding their media presence in the Carolinas. — BBR