The National Football League is about winning.
On Wednesday, the Dallas Cowboys proved that notion once again, inking Greg Hardy to a one-year, $11.3 million contract, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Hardy’s base salary is only $750K, with incentives and bonuses making up the rest. In 2012 and 2013, Hardy was one of the best defensive ends in football with a combined 26 sacks.
Hardy, 26, played only game in 2014 before he was placed on the Commissioner’s-exempt list after being arrested on May 13. Hardy was charged with misdemeanors of assault on a female and communicating threats after multiple 911 calls were made from his Charlotte residence, per Rainer Sabin of the Dallas Morning News. His then-girlfriend, 24-year-old Nicole Holder, alleged that Hardy threatened to kill her and break her arms. Holder also claimed Hardy choked her, dragged her across the floor and threw her on a couch covered in assault weapons. Hardy owned between 25-30 assault weapons, including AK-47 guns.
Two days later, Holder’s request for a protective order was denied by Judge Rebecca Thorne-Tin but Hardy was ordered to surrender his weapons. On July 15, Hardy was found guilty of the misdemeanor charges and was sentenced to 18 months probation.
Per ESPN, Holder had the following comments about the night in question during an 11-hour courtroom session.
“He looked me in my eyes and he told me he was going to kill me,” said the accuser, a 24-year-old cocktail waitress in downtown Charlotte. “I was so scared I wanted to die. When he loosened his grip slightly, I said just, `Do it. Kill me.”
Holder admitted to using cocaine and indulging in alcohol the evening of May 13, although it is obviously no excuse for Hardy’s horrific alleged actions.
On Feb. 9, the domestic abuse charges against Hardy were dropped because Holder did not show up and could not be found with the appeal trial about to begin. Prosecution believes Hardy and Holder came to an agreement on a civil settlement. In other words, money likely talked in this situation.
The Cowboys are certainly not setting a new trend by bringing in a player with a checkered past.
The St. Louis Rams stuck by defensive end Leonard Little in 2004 after Little was arrested for DWI, even though Little had previously killed a woman while driving drunk in 1998. He pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, avoiding jail time. Little was suspended for eight games in the 1999 season. In the 2004 case, Little was eventually convicted of misdemeanor speeding but the DWI charge was dismissed, despite failing three roadside sobriety tests, per USA Today.
In the 1998 police report, Little said the following about Susan Gutweiler, who he had just killed after Little ran a traffic light, per the Chicago Tribune.
“The [expletive] ran a yellow light and hit me, wrecking my $45,000 [expletive] car.”
Again, Dallas is not the first organization to allow a person with questionable character to make millions because he has talent. It is simply the most recent example, allowing a disturbing trend to continue.