Former Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy could be on the verge of officially returning to the NFL.
By being placed on the Commissioner's Exempt List in 2014, Hardy still has to be reinstated by the league before he's able to sign with another team in free agency.
Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer reports that Hardy will have a meeting with the NFL today in New York in an effort to do achieve reinstatement by the the league.
The timing of Wednesday’s meeting is key. Hardy is set to become a free agent on March 10, and any team interested in signing him will want to know whether and for how long Hardy will be suspended.
The Panthers haven’t shown any interest in re-signing Hardy.
Hardy made $13.1 million in 2014, but played in only one game for the Panthers last year after domestic violence charges were filed against him. Hardy did manage to avoid an actual conviction after winning in appeals court.
If he's able to gain reinstatement before the start of free agency, Hardy will be one of the top pass-rushers on the market. Whether or not the Bengals will show interest remains to be seen, but after finishing dead last in sacks last year, don't be surprised if Hardy draws a look from the team.
It's worth noting that ESPN's Coley Harvey predicts the Bengals to land Hardy in his free agency preview for Cincinnati.