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Is a Jaguars’ uniform in Greg Hardy’s future?

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Greg Hardy is a talented football player. He can make life miserable for opposing quarterbacks by either harassing them or knocking them down. Hardy has 40 sacks in 75 NFL games.

Unfortunately, he has a similar history of doing that to women, specifically the one he was supposed to care about. Just ask Nicole Holder, Hardy’s ex-girlfriend, who said Hardy beat her and thought he was going to kill her.

The charges against Hardy were dismissed when Holder did not appear in court, but he was still cut loose by the Carolina Panthers. The NFL suspended Hardy for the first 10 games of the 2015 season, but later reduced it to four games on appeal.

The Dallas Cowboys thought he was worth the risk and signed him for the 2015 season. Advocates for domestic violence victims were apoplectic.

Hardy had six sacks last year, but seemed to be a powder keg waiting to blow on the sidelines. He sulked and argued with coaches at times.

Despite singing Hardy’s praises as a football player, the Cowboys declined to re-sign him for another year. He is now a free agent trying to hook on to another team.

Last week, Hardy made a stop in Jacksonville to work out for the Jaguars. The team quickly stated that signing him to a contract was “not imminent.”

Which begs the question, why in the world was he in town in the first place? Did Coach Gus Bradley and Defensive Coordinator Todd Wash ask for, or support, this?

General Manager Dave Caldwell cautioned about reading too much into the workout. It was only a matter of “researching” and does not mean Hardy will be a Jaguar in the near future.

But if Bradley is trying to build team chemistry, are a few sacks worth the downside? The Jaguars would face withering and justified criticism for bringing him to Jacksonville.

This seems shockingly tone deaf to the atmosphere around the country toward domestic violence. Especially the NFL, which continues to be confronted with similar incidents.

Isn’t it worth seeing whether the controversy-free newest Jaguars, like former FSU defensive end Bjorn Werner, can fill the slot Caldwell and staff were “researching?” The Jaguars are playing with fire.

Use of the words “not imminent” should not describe the Jaguars’ next move with regard to signing Greg Hardy.

How about “not now, not ever?”

 

Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at Bob@ramos-sparks.com.

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