Panthers DE Greg Hardy aiming for '50 sacks' in 2013

Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy (76) has a goal of 50 sacks in 2013. The NFL record is 22.5. (USATSI)
Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy (76) has a goal of 50 sacks in 2013. The NFL record is 22.5. (USATSI)

Michael Strahan may want to pay attention to Carolina this season, because Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy has set a lofty goal of breaking Strahan's single-season sack record. 

Hardy isn't aiming to merely break Strahan's 22.5 sack record either; he wants to double it -- and then get five more on top of that. The Panthers defensive end said Tuesday his goal in 2013 is 50 sacks. 

"Why shoot low, right? If I’m going to shoot at it, I'm going to shoot at it with a .50 caliber," Hardy said, via ESPN.com. "I'm going to shoot at a little bird with a .50-caliber bullet. That’s the goal for this year: 50 sacks. That’s where I’m at. That’s the goal: 50. You heard it first."

It's an interesting goal for Hardy, considering he didn't even lead his own team in sacks last season. That honor belonged to Charles Johnson, who tallied 12.5 sacks. Hardy was second on the team with 11. 

Of course, the addition of defensive tackles Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short -- the Panthers' first- and second-round picks in April's draft -- could mean more sacks for Hardy. Probably not 50, but his numbers could improve, and Hardy seems to realize that.  

"Our D-line is about getting money, and not like you all are thinking," Hardy said. "Just everybody winning. If the tackles are getting it, that means they've got to block them now and while they're blocking them, I'm sneaking in the backdoor and taking everything."

Hardy's goal would also be more realistic if the Panthers played Chicago in all 16 games next season. Hardy tallied a career-high three sacks against the Bears in 2012. Unfortunately for Hardy, Chicago's not on Carolina's 2013 regular-season schedule. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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