Reports: Panthers to use franchise tag on DE Greg Hardy

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Panthers will use the franchise tag on defensive end Greg Hardy, according to multiple media reports.

Hardy was slated to become an unrestricted free agent on March 11.

In the National Football League, the franchise tag is a designation a team may apply to a player scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent. The tag binds the player to the team for a one year contract.

Hardy is the fifth player in Panthers history to receive the franchise tag, joining Todd Sauerbrun in 2003, Jordan Gross in 2008, Julius Peppers in 2009 and Ryan Kalil in 2011.

The franchise tag for defensive ends is expected to approach $13 million for a one year contract.

The deadline for NFL teams to use the tag is 4 p.m. Monday.

The Panthers recently met with Hardy’s agent Drew Rosenhaus to discuss a long term deal. Negotiations between team officials and Hardy’s agent will likely continue. The team will still have the opportunity to sign Hardy to a long term deal during the offseason.

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