While Commissioner Roger Goodell's power as the NFL's judge and jury has been called into question on the federal level, Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy will not fight his four-game suspension, according to Pro Football Talk.
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Jones Comments on Potential Appeal As Hardy Considers Action After Brady Ruling
Tuesday, Sept. 8
"Stephen Jones on [105.3 The FAN] said the Cowboys are still planning for Greg Hardy to miss the first [four] games, not appeal his current suspension," relayed Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News.
ESPN.com's Ed Werder reported on Sept. 3 that Hardy was consulting with the players union to see if an appeal of his four-game suspension would be in his best interest. That news comes within minutes of U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman overturning the NFL's four-game suspension of Tom Brady for the Deflategate controversy.
"The judge said that Brady had no notice he could receive a four-game suspension for general awareness of ball deflation by others or participation in any scheme to deflate footballs and for not cooperating with an investigation," an ESPN.com report said.
Hardy's suspension is far different because it involves violations of the NFL's personal conduct policy. The Cowboys defensive end was initially convicted of domestic abuse in 2014, but that conviction was later overturned on appeal when the alleged victim did not show up to court. Hardy missed all but one game of the 2014 season while placed on the commissioner's exempt list, which essentially serves as paid suspension.
Goodell doubled down on that by suspending Hardy 10 games in April, but an arbitrator reduced the suspension to four games in July. Hardy still has legal recourse to challenge that decision in federal court, which would allow him to play while a court renders a decision.
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com believes now is the time to take advantage of the vulnerable NFL: "With the wind blowing strongly in favor of players now, it only makes sense for them to raise sails and see how far they can go."
From a legal perspective, it seems unlikely Hardy's case will be affected by the Brady ruling. Unlike the Brady situation, there is a precedent by which players are punished for domestic violence cases. An appeal would have likely just delayed his inevitable suspension.
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