Panthers Franchise Tag Greg Hardy - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Panthers Franchise Tag Greg Hardy

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Greg Hardy will be back with the Carolina Panthers in 2014 as the team applied the franchise tag to the defensive end.

Hardy tallied 15 sacked last season which was 3rd in the NFL behind Robert Mathis of Indianapolis and Robert Quinn of St. Louis.  His success last season led to the "Kraken" going to his first Pro Bowl.

"He was a big reason we were able to lead the league in sacks last year and keeps our defensive line intact," said Panthers head coach Ron Rivera.

By getting the tag, Hardy will make the average of the top 5 players at his position which will be around 12 million dollars.

The tag does allow Hardy and the team to continue to negotiate until July 15th to secure a long term deal.  If they don't come to a deal by that date, Hardy will play the season at the franchise tag and become a free agent again next off season.

"We have had great dialogue with both Greg and his agent.  It was important to keep our defensive front together," said Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman.

Hardy was drafted by the Panthers in 2010 in the 6th round.  In 62 games, Hardy has 39 starts with 33 sacks. 

Copyright 2014 WBTV. Carolina Panthers Communications Department contributed to this report. All rights reserved.

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