Cory’s Corner: Greg Hardy is risky but will reward Packers

Everyone should agree that the Packers are in a win now mode. They have the best quarterback in the game and the best tandem of receivers.

General manager Ted Thompson has done well so far in free agency by bringing back Randall Cobb and Bryan Bulaga. Those were the team’s two biggest needs.

So what’s next? What’s the next piece that can not only help the Packers but put them over the top?

The best example of a team recently doing this is Seattle. The Seahawks took a gamble by getting rid of two-time Pro Bowl center in Max Unger in exchange for one of the best tight ends in the league in Jimmy Graham.

The Packers have nearly $22 million available in salary cap space. Why not try and go after one of the best defenders still available?

That person is none other than Greg Hardy. I know what you’re thinking. His off-the-field persona instantly makes him untouchable. His domestic violence charges were dropped after reaching a settlement with his accuser.

That still doesn’t make it right and the NFL may very well still punish him.

If you look at his pro career in a vacuum, Hardy is easily one of the best defensive ends currently in the game. Entering his sixth season, he has 34 sacks and 142 tackles. The last full season he played was in 2013 and he was third in sacks with 15.

With as many as six teams somewhat interested in Hardy so far, the 26-year-old quarterback attacker will not be given a Family Dollar discount. But the Packers have the money to spend on veteran Tramon Williams and still sign Hardy.

Early leaks were that the Raiders were serious contenders for Hardy’s services. Which is fine, but wouldn’t the best location for Hardy be a locker room that is firmly established? Not only that, but play for a franchise that is in the smallest city in the NFL. He’s going to come to Green Bay to play football, repair his tarnished image and earn solid money for his next deal.

I would rather have Hardy over Letroy Guion — who was recently arrested on drug felony charges. B.J. Raji missed all of last season while dealing with a torn right biceps suffered in the third preseason game. The Packers could give Raji another prove-it deal and still bring in Hardy on a heavy incentive-laden deal.

I’m not saying it’s not a gamble, because it’s a huge risk. The team understands the possibility that it will alienate its female fans. It is rolling the dice that there won’t be any protests outside of 1265 Lombardi Ave. imploring for stricter dealings with domestic violence.

However, we’ll never know any more answers. His accuser, former girlfriend Nicole Holder, isn’t cooperating with the district attorney after agreeing to a financial settlement with Hardy.

The Packers can only go on what they know and what’s proven. The rest of the NFL knows that Hardy can still play. Is there a chance that his off-the-field behavior owns headlines again? Oh yeah, there’s always that chance.

But even Hardy has to understand that he’s running out of strikes. One more blemish to his reputation and he’s out of the league.

That sounds like pretty solid motivation to me.


Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn


60 thoughts on “Cory’s Corner: Greg Hardy is risky but will reward Packers

  1. If the guy played ILB, I’d say go for it. He doesn’t, so don’t.

    Assuming TW comes back, ILB’s the only hole that FA should address.

      1. Pennel, Raji, and Guion? Shirley you can’t be serious?
        Pennels going to be an absolute beast this season!!

  2. The first 3 picks are going to be a mix of DL, ILB, and CB. If they re-sign williams, TE could be an option. But likely it’s gonna be the first of the 2.

  3. Can he play 3-4 olb? If not the packers already have enough 4-3 de’s moonlighting as 3-4 olbs

    1. Agree 100%. Cory only discusses ramifications involving alienating the female fan base. Hardy plays at 273 lbs; is that suitable for 3-4 DE? He’d blow a hole in the cap, and is coming off of an injury. He might yet get suspended. Pass.

  4. “The team understands the possibility that it will alienate its female fans.”

    This, this is the problem. No, not that bringing in a player might alienate the female fan base. The problem is that you think domestic violence is an issue that only women should get upset about. Any real man should be livid about domestic violence.

    I’m not sure your intentions or motives, but this whole article reeks of “legally he’s not in trouble any more, so therefore we should forget about the domestic violence thing.”

    1. The problem is that you think domestic violence is an issue that only women should get upset about.

      Thanks for stating this, and I’d have posted similar. We’re livid.

  5. I’ve been driving the Hardy bus for a few weeks now. Other than Daniels, our defensive line is filled with a bunch of mediocre nobodies. Hardy would give us the speed and pass rush our DL is lacking. They could move him around the line like JJ Watt, giving them flexibility to be in a 3-4 or 4-3. Defensive line is a position TT has missed on over the years. It’s time to bring in a free agent.

    1. Greg Hardy is not JJ Watt and realistically doesn’t fit in anywhere on a 3-4 defensive line. I agree that free agent additions to our DL would be a good idea, but Hardy is not the answer, even if he were totally clean off the field.

      1. Why don’t you think he could play as a DE in a 3-4? He’s one inch shorter and ten pounds lighter than Watt. He could easily put on 10-15 pounds.

  6. There has to be a line,a ‘red line’ that is put in place and is not redrawn the moment a ‘second chance’ thinking is being put forth even if in an ‘around about way’ as by the author.

    He was found guilty by a Judge and then bought his victim out of going forward at the trial he was allowed to have via his appeal.When you’re innocent you don’t pay off the victim as a sign of innocence but taking advantage again of the person already abused by attacking her through a likely financial position to not refuse the offer.

    I want the Packers to win but with dignity and the will power to stand strong on a line that has been drawn and needs to be adhered to.

    In closing,under the guise of thinking by the author,why would the Packers not only get Hardy but lets also get AP…the Packers can say ‘We can beat everyone on the field…Even Women and Children off the field”.

    There should be a difference in the ‘second chance’ mantra,like a DUI,failing a drug test and domestic violence…2/3 is fine but the 3rd is over the line.

    1. Breaking a cycle of an abuser is in someways similar to breaking the cycle of an addict. Most (and I apologize for not having the numbers in front of me” abusers will abuse again. Abuse is not a one time lapse, it is a pattern built up, daily digs at control, to moments that erupt in violence.
      An abuser can change. But it requires significant work. What has Hardy done, besides get off on technicality that still boggles my mind, and now the accusers won’t talk. (I’m sure there’s no pressuring and continued abuse via control going on there). What work has Hardy done?
      This man, sorry, it is offensive to other men to call him one. If the Packers sign him, which I feel confident they won’t, morally wise and need wise, I would stop being a Packers fan. No second thought.

      This shouldn’t be a problem for the female fans, or women who were abused. It is a problem for us all.

      Agree very much with the comment above mine.

    2. “When you’re innocent you don’t pay off the victim as a sign of innocence”

      Not always the case Taryn. Look at Bill Cosby. He’s paid off a woman and has claimed from day one he’s innocent and as far as I can tell there’s not a shred of evidence to prove his guilt. Some people just pay to avoid all the hassles of court not to mention the publicity
      Hell I just read yesterday that Fat Albert is suing Cosby for allegedly spiking his diet Shasta in 1978. Fat Albert claims he was possibly drugged and violated. The last thing Albert remembers is Cosby saying, “Hey Hey Hey, time for some play”.


      1. He’s a violent criminal and we don’t need him. There is no excuse for his actions and he should no longer be in the league if we had a commissioner with any integrity at all. Thanks, Since ’61

          1. I am referring to Hardy and only Hardy. He is a violent criminal and he doesn’t belong in the NFL and hopefully not anywhere near our Packers. We don’t need him or want him. Thanks, Since ’61

            1. Oh, ok. I agree with you on Hardy. He’s not a good fit but I don’t agree with some people here getting on Cory JennerJohn for simply bringing him up for discussion.

              1. Agree – Cory just doing his role, which is to generate a dialogue among the fans which he has done. Thanks, Since ’61

      2. Bet the Ted up above is an abuse rat that needs his nuts removed. Screw you sicko!!!

        1. Nice going Cory. You brought out all the feminazi’s with your one comment about females. lol

          Ted and Mary

    3. Taryn – well said. Are we so desperate to win that we need to start signing criminals to the team? We don’t need Hardy and his domestic violence history. Cory I appreciate your work but Hardy is unacceptable to me. I don’t want him or any of the league’s vilent criminals on the team. I’m not even sure that I want Guion back and his offense is no where close to Hardy’s crime. If Guion does some rehab, like Jolly I can be more forging. As for Hardy, don’t need him and don’t want him. Thanks, Since ’61

    4. Well said. I do believe in second chances however if there is contrite attitude, and willing to make some change even for domestic violence. Petersen doesn’t get it yet. Johnny Manziel might be figuring that out (slowly) in his immature way. No to Hardy.

  7. The draft is always the place Thompson goes to get his guys. Not sure why fans want him to change that, The team was a play away last year from going to the big game and were in a lot of experts minds the best team so again why should Thompson change his ways? Bottom line is if you start paying high buck in free agency it will hurt the teams cap in the long haul. This win now and who cares about the next 4 years is total crap. Lets say Thompson did do as fans are asking and they go to the super bowl and lose! Now the following year they have no cap to pay their own free agents and they all walk because Thompson paid Joe Schmoe a ridiculous price to play for one year. Was it worth it?

    1. You’re right that bad free agent signings can crush your cap, but if you get the right guy, it can make a huge difference. I’m sure the Patriots are happy they signed Darrell Revis last year. Julius Peppers worked out well for us. The way the contracts are structured, you can usually get out of them in a couple years anyways. The Packers have the cap room and should be in “win now” mode.

  8. I’m willing to sign any blue chip player at any position if the price is right and the contract is structured such that any repeat offense he is history and the Pack’s financial hit is limited.

    1. If it were your daughter that had been abused,would you still be so willing to do such for the abuser…allowing him even the smallest chance of earning $millions on the point/hope of not doing such again,which they are more suspect of repeating,as long as your team might increase the chance of winning???…..I honestly have fear of your response….i;e..It wasn’t my daughter so it doesn’t matter.

  9. Is GB in the “win now” mode? Peppers might only last one more year, but then again, he might play out his contract for all I know. Otherwise this team should be able to make SB runs for the next 2-3 years. Another good draft and it might be 3-5 years. Hardy is a pass for me.

  10. The writer’s willingness to diminish a domestic assault is bizarre. There’s no comparison to Guion’s misdemeanor weed offense and beating a woman. Thompson has never signed a guy with a felony record. Hardy’s problem is not his locker room presence as the article indicates. His problem is that he beat a woman to a bloody pulp and was convicted for it. This has no chance of happening, and this opinion was unworthy of publication even on a blog.

    1. I agree completely. Even if this series is suppose to be full of ideas that are out there and even controversial, this crosses the line into tasteless, misogynistic, and narrow-minded.

      Personally I think the author should retract this post and apologize. There are plenty of other Packer blogs out there for me to follow.

      1. Oh please. Now you are accusing the author of hating women? You’ve got to be kidding me!!

        1. I didn’t say the author hates women. I said the author’s message was misogynistic. There’s a very big difference between the two, and your inability to recognize that difference is part of the problem.

          1. Bullshit. You said it and are trying to weasel out of it. Man up, woman up or transgender up depending on what you are Eamon. If the author”s “message” in your opinion was that he hates women (misogynistic) than wouldn’t that make the author a person who hates women? Why else would he dare say or write such a terrible thing if he didn’t hate women right? You were offended and that’s why you demand he retract the article and apologize.
            If I was a betting man I would say you, Scary Mary and this Jaymelee are misandrists.

            1. There’s no equals sign between misogyny and hating women. The reason this blog is misogynistic is it likens a convicted woman beater with being a lockerroom cancer worthy of the risk if he helps your football team. But Hardy isn’t a lockerroom risk. In fact I’ve never seen that published. He’s a risk because he could get arrested again for something horrible, like slamming a woman into a bath tub and threatening to kill her.

              Secondly, I’m all for second chances if it’s a DUI, minor drug offense, etc. like Guion. But I’m not for signing a guy who pleads guilty to slamming a woman into the ground, bloodying her face and threatening to kill her.

              There is no chance Thompson would sign someone with that sort of public baggage. It would disgust me if he did.

  11. hardy would be awesome, out defence needs some actual good defensive linemen, the packers have been horrible at drafting dline/lbs and I really don’t trust the packers ability to draft guys for the trenches

      1. Colt Lyerla, and soon to to be Letroy Guion. Not saying I approve of the players actions however.

        1. Lyerla had been convicted of drug offenses and seemed to have an addiction problem. Guion’s offense, when you look at the fact, was pretty minor. He had marijuana and a registered gun, which was only illegal because of the fact the weed was there. In some places, this would not have been a gun offense. Not saying he was smart, but there’s no comparison between that and the facts of the Hardy case. Just read the police report, it’s posted above.

  12. Hope that doesn’t happen. Hardy would certainly take the “est” off the classiest organization in the NFL.

    1. Montana, you take the wrong side and Scary Mary will be here to cut your nuts off. Be very careful what you say. I am sure Cory JennerJohn is sleeping tonight wearing a metal jock strap.

  13. While I wish Thompson would participate more in free agency (like, you know, Belichick and Schneider and nearly everyone else)… I’m glad he doesn’t make STUPID moves like the one suggested here.

  14. All the protests that would be going on during training camp would be interesting i guess…

  15. Cory, I appreciate your article and getting a lively debate about the grey area between Football and Social Responsibility. This same issue is going on in the business world by-the-way; and modern business understand cash as well as social bottom line, so its a great topic in sports.
    While I don’t agree with you on case of Hardy, and I think its way overdue for the NFL (and all leagues) to establish a sensible and serious stance regarding domestic violence, I do believe in second chances. But Hardy’s response doesn’t indicate a willingness to grasp the seriousness of this, and no, I don’t support Green Bay signing him at all, nor do I think GB will give it any chance. Even Ray Rice would be more worthy of second chance than Hardy.

  16. They put that low life piece of trash in the uniform I will end a 60 year long association with my hometown team. That bottom feeding piece of crap belongs in prison with the lowest of low crap. He needs his balls removed.

  17. Without looking at the author, it was obvious after reading that this was a Jennerjohn written article. Hope and mild suggestion, without much thought to facts and player positioning. the comparison to Raji/Guion is pointless since this player doesn’t play that position. Ask yourself Corey, which player, CMIII or Peppers do you want sitting on the sideline when Hardy is in? I’m the sucker for reading through this article., however, a little more inspection before submitting this article would have gone a long way. GoPack!

  18. Not a chance. This is exactly the kind of big money bullcrap that teams should never do. Everyone figures, “Oh, I know signing overpriced veterans is a bad idea, but THIS TIME will be different.” No it won’t. Don’t do it.

    Personally, I couldn’t care less if “female fans” – whoever they may be – don’t like it, or if “male fans” are mortally offended, or if Nicole Holder seems to be OK with just taking the money, or if some poster feels I’m not showing enough moral indignation for his or her liking, or if “little kid fans” don’t like it, or if Letroy Guion is actually a worse human being….

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