While the Indianapolis Colts still could use pass rushing help, it seems safe to say that talented, yet troubled former Dallas Cowboys pass rusher Greg Hardy can be quickly counted out for consideration:
The 27 year old is currently undergoing counseling and therapy sessions because of his off-the-field history–one that’s highly checkered to say the least. However, most general managers aren’t buying that these attempts for reform are actually sincere, but rather that Hardy is only undergoing such sessions for purely football’s sake.
It’s true that the Colts were at least linked to Hardy during last offseason before he signed a 1-year contract with the Cowboys.
However, as general manager Ryan Grigson says regarding pass rushers, sometimes the talented ones have “too many warts” to warrant pursuing:
"“The hard part is actually finding them, and then finding ones that you know, the handful of them that are clean and really good,” said Grigson at last year’s NFL Combine. “Clean in, I mean they don’t have any off-the-field, any warts, they’re hard to come by.”"
While it was under entirely different circumstances, the Colts recently released young pass rusher Jonathan Newsome for off-the-field concerns earlier this offseason. The team likely doesn’t want to go down that bridge again with Hardy, who’s a completely different ballgame regarding his troubled off-the-field track record–making Newsome’s offenses look trivial in comparison.
Not to mention, Hardy only had 6 sacks for the Cowboys last season, which hardly justifies a team putting up with such a tumultuous player’s problems.
That’s less sacks than both the Colts Robert Mathis and Kendall Langford had this past season respectively (albeit in less games), so it’s fair to question whether Hardy is still the prolific pass rusher he once was.
He is just two seasons removed from a 15 sack season with the Carolina Panthers, but at the same time, teams are now shying away from troubled players–talented or not. It doesn’t help that Hardy also reportedly caused tension in the Cowboys locker room.
Adding a veteran pass rusher such as Dwight Freeney, who’s never had off-the-field concerns, seems like a solid move for the Colts. However, the Colts like every other NFL team should steer clear of signing Hardy purely for character concerns until he proves otherwise.
Right now, the risk simply isn’t worth the reward even with the team’s pass rush needs. However, the Colts assuredly already know that.
This team needs “Horseshoe guys” after all, players that embody the spirit of the organization both on and off-the-field. Hardy hardly represents such a pristine image these days.