It didn't take long for Panthers defensive Greg Hardy to sign his franchise tag tender for 2014. According to multiple reports, Hardy -- who was tagged last Friday -- already has signed his contract for 2014, which will pay him $13.116 million.
Hardy and the Panthers, meanwhile, reportedly will continue to negotiate a long-term deal. They'll have until July 15 to do so, or Hardy -- who accumulated 15 sacks last season -- will play under the tag.
"We are very pleased that Greg will be back with the Panthers next season,” Ron Rivera said in a statement last week. "He was a big reason we were able to lead the league in sacks last year and keeps our defensive line intact."
Said general manager Dave Gettleman: "The franchise mechanism gives us time to secure the services of a very good player while we continue to look at the future of Greg with the Carolina Panthers. We have had great dialogue with both Greg and his agent. It was important to keep our defensive front together."
Only four players were franchise tagged for the 2014 season -- Hardy, Saints tight end Jimmy Graham, Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo, and Jets kicker Nick Folk -- but it sounds like Hardy might be one of the exceptions when it comes to signing his tender right away.
Reports of Graham & Orakpo not planning on signing tenders rt away, and not showing up in the near future, is exactly what GM's do not want.— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) March 4, 2014