Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer reports that the agent for Panthers DE Greg Hardy has approached the team regarding a long-term contract extension.
Hardy, 24, is entering the final year of his rookie, so it makes sense that he would be seeking an extension at this point, especially when you consider that he’s coming off of a breakout season that included a career high 11 sacks.
He will make $1.35 million for the 2013 season, but the Panthers are in no position to offer him a long-term contract. Carolina’s financial situation is so bad that they’re already highly-leveraged for next season.
It seems likely that they won’t be able to get Hardy signed before he’s an unrestricted free agent next year. They’ll still need to figure out a way to create some much needed cap space in order to even consider applying the franchise tag to him next offseason. Hardy should have a very competitive market next year, assuming that he doesn’t suffer a serious injury or significant drop off in terms of his productivity.