Sportress of Blogitude

Ex-teammate: Greg Hardy a ‘nightmare’ on field but can be ‘unmanageable’


A former teammate of Greg Hardy broke down the talented but troubled defensive end and indicated while his talent cannot be unquestioned, he can be “unmanageable” on occasion.

Ben Hartsock, who played with Hardy on the Carolina Panthers for three seasons, spoke with ESPN 103.3 FM’s “Fitzsimmons and Friedo show Tuesday and analyzed his ex-teammate in light of reports that Hardy on Wednesday will decide on his next team.

Hardy has been embroiled in a domestic violence case in which he was found guilty of assaulting and threatening to kill a former girlfriend. Charges were later dropped on appeal after the alleged victim refused to cooperate with authorities. A civil settlement reportedly was the impetus to the victim’s lack of cooperation.

Hardy remains on the Commissioner’s Exempt List despite the resolution of the criminal case. An NFL spokesman stated that Hardy’s case currently is under review and a decision on his status for next season will be made soon.

With that backdrop in mind, Hartsock was plainly asked: Is Hardy worth it?

“Well, I think that’s a great question,” Hartsock said, via an ESPN report. “When he’s on the field, he’s a dominant force. Because of that, he’s going to get more leniency. The issue he has right now is whether he’s too toxic. He’s going to be on a very, very short leash. If he screws up one more time, I believe he’ll be on his way out. But I do believe he’s going to get another chance and I think he deserves it.”

Saying Hardy’s reputation has become an Achilles heel and how trustworthiness in the NFL is on a sliding scale based upon talent, Hartsock discussed whether his former teammate can be trusted.

“You trust him to the extent that you don’t necessarily know what you’re going to get,” Hartsock said.

While Hartsock said Hardy could be as “level-headed” as any player, “there are other times when he’s just unmanageable. And that’s why I think things have gotten in trouble with his personal life.”

Hardy is an incredibly gifted football player and obviously will receive another chance in the NFL. Hartsock’s suggestion that immense talent can foster an environment where someone who may not be worth the risk receives the benefit of the doubt is accurate.

(photo credit: AP)