NFL Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Greg Hardy, Phil Taylor and More

Jared Johnson@@jaredtjohnson21Featured ColumnistSeptember 4, 2015

Aug 29, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy (76) rushes the passer in the game against the Minnesota Vikings at AT&T Stadium. Minnesota won 28-14. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday's biggest football news was easily Tom Brady's win in court over the NFL, per SportsCenter, which overturned a four-game suspension to begin the upcoming regular season. The superstar quarterback puts his defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in prime position for another division championship and deep playoff run in the AFC.

However, some other NFL players made headlines Thursday as well.

Let's take a look at some new developments in the situations of three prominent names, as well as the impact of said developments.

Greg Hardy

Brady's Deflategate triumph impacts him and the Patriots, but also all current and future NFL players who receive suspensions they believe are unfair. There's some extra confidence that comes with seeing the league lose such a high-profile case.

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy is another star who's looking to appeal for a reduction to his four-game suspension, per ESPN.com's Todd Archer.

Aug 13, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy (76) looks on from the sideline during the third quarter against the San Diego Chargers in a preseason NFL football game at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY S
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The pass-rusher was originally ruled out for the first 10 contests of the 2015 season for violating the league's domestic violence policy, but arbitrator Harold Henderson reduced the suspension to four games in June. Hardy also missed 15 of 16 games last season with the Carolina Panthers because he chose to be placed on the commissioner's exempt list.

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Can Hardy win his appeal? Maybe, but it will be interesting to see if Brady's win causes more and more suspensions to be appealed and overturned in the future.

Phil Taylor

When the Cleveland Browns released nose tackle Phil Taylor Tuesday, it looked like several teams would be clamoring for his services. Per the Northeast Ohio Media Group's Mary Kay Cabot, Browns head coach Mike Pettine gave a hopeful prognosis of Taylor's knee injury upon releasing him:

However, after the 27-year-old run-stopper showed up for a Wednesday workout at the Pittsburgh Steelers' practice facility, it was discovered that his knee wasn't as far along as the team had hoped. The Steelers are no longer interested in signing Taylor because they think he needs surgery, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

This will undoubtedly decrease league-wide interest in Taylor, especially among teams who need a quick fix on their defensive line. He's apparently not ready to make a significant impact in the 2015 season.

Aug 9, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Phil Taylor (98) against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Taylor, a former first-round draft pick, has only played four pro seasons, but persistent injury problems have tarnished the solid production he's given when healthy. He was certainly a bust in Cleveland, but maybe a patient squad will take a flier on him and reap the rewards.

Jarrett Boykin

Dec 22, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jarrett Boykin (11) celebrates a touchdown catch during the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Since Green Bay Packers No. 1 wide receiver Jordy Nelson tore his ACL August 24, the Packers have understandably been looking for some pass-catchers to replace his production.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tom Silverstein speculated last Saturday that Green Bay might try to pick up receiver Jarrett Boykin, who played with the team from 2012 to 2014, if he were cut by the Carolina Panthers.

However, Boykin was cut by Carolina Tuesday and the Packers haven't shown any interest yet, per ESPN.com's Rob Demovsky.

The release from the Panthers and the Packers' lack of interest are two ominous developments for Boykin's future.

The Panthers are lacking in receiver depth with their No. 1 threat, Kelvin Benjamin, also out for the season with a torn ACL. The Packers have a total of 84 career receiving yards on their healthy roster that don't belong to Randall Cobb and Davante Adams.

Boykin hauled in 49 catches for 681 yards for the Packers in 2013. But if he can't grab a spot with two teams badly needing receiver depth, his days as a significant contributor may be over.