Tom Brady’s DeflateGate win over the NFL could have a trickledown effect to Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy.
Brady took the NFL to court and won Thursday, having a four-game suspension handed down by Commissioner Roger Goodell overturned. It marked a significant victory for Brady and the NFL Players’ Association.
The ruling could come into play in regards to whether Hardy, who had an excused absence for personal reasons from Thursday’s preseason finale against Houston, takes his four-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy to court.
Hardy, whose suspension is set to begin Saturday, is expected to consult with the NFLPA about whether to fight his suspension, according to a source. It’s a decision that has been discussed for weeks, and this could finally make the best route clear to the Hardy camp.
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Hardy has a financial incentives to fight the suspension. His one-year deal with the Cowboys calls for him to make $544,412 every game he’s on the roster, which would mean losing $2.2 million for a four-game suspension.
Hardy, it would seem, has more of a chance to get his suspension reduced, or possibly eliminated, with the Brady ruling. The drawback, though, is whether Hardy wants to bring a May 2014 domestic violence incident back in the news.
Hardy spent the majority of last season on the commissioner’s exempt list, making $13.1 million though he didn’t play the final 15 games for the Carolina Panthers. Then, Goodell handed him a 10-game suspension in April for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
In July, arbitrator Harold Henderson reduced it to four games, stating: “baseline for discipline in domestic violence or sexual assault cases was announced as a six-game suspension.”
Hardy has yet to discuss his case, and has not been made available for comment by the Cowboys. However, players and coaching staff have praised his work ethic and play since joining the team.
And veteran defensive end Jeremy Mincey said in training camp that he would more than support Hardy taking his suspension to federal court.
“I hope he does,” Mincey said. “I would love for Greg to get back as soon as possible. It makes our team better. The earlier he gets back, the better off we’ll be.”