Free agent defensive end Greg Hardy has narrowed down his choices to the Dallas Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to his agent Drew Rosenhaus. Clarence Hill with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram adds that Hardy, who met with Cowboys officials at Valley Ranch on Tuesday, will be taking a physical in Dallas on Wednesday and could sign a one-year deal.
Hardy was convicted of assaulting Nicole Holder on June 15, 2014 and was placed on the Commissioner's exempt list on Sept. 17, 2014 where he secured his franchise tag salary but hasn't been eligible to play. Charges were eventually dismissed against Hardy because Holder failed to appear in court. NOTE: Hardy was still found guilty of assault by a Mecklenburg County Judge and sentenced to 18 months of probation -- he then requested a jury trial, which is what was dismissed because the victim didn't show up.
Complicating matters is that the NFL is still considering/weighing their options and conducting their own investigation into the situation -- there's a belief that Hardy could still serve a six-game suspension in 2015. Until the investigation is over and their decision is made, Hardy remains on the exempt list, but can sign with an NFL team.
The Bengals were previously viewed as favorites for Hardy. Analysts frequently concluded that the Bengals -- starving for a pass rusher -- apply a 4-3 scheme that Hardy is comfortable in. One beat writer made the prediction of a marriage, generating faux buzz. However, the Bengals have made it a point over the past few years to identify character issues and move away from those players. Cincinnati is encouraging a team full of leaders without the need to sacrifice character flags in the quest to improve. And unlike many who believe that the legal system dictates one's character, the Bengals weren't as willing to make a move on Hardy.