Greg Hardy’s media rehabilitation tour didn’t get off to a fast start earlier this week in his interview that made both him and Adam Schefter look iffy, but former Carolina Panthers teammate Charles Johnson hopes Hardy gets a second chance in the NFL.
The 27-year-old Hardy is still a free agent after completing a one-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys last season. Prior to that, Hardy spent the first five years of his NFL career with the Panthers, who opted not to retain Hardy’s services in free agency.
“He’s a good guy,” Johnson told ESPN.com this week. “He just makes bad decisions. I just hope he gets out there and finds a place so he can really prove his talent and show what he’s really all about instead of giving interviews to people about the situation.
“He should just move on and throw that all the way back, move forward and take it day by day. Don’t do interviews.”
Hardy’s domestic violence case was dismissed back in February 2015 when Nicole Holder declined to cooperate with the district attorney’s office, which said that it had “reliable information” to believe that Hardy and Holder reached a civil settlement out of court.
Johnson said he believed Hardy when he told Schefter, “I’ve never put my hand on any woman.”
“That’s my friend,” Johnson said. “I ain’t got no other choice but to believe him. Whatever he’s telling me, I’m going to believe that because I’ve got no other choice.
“But at the same time, you was involved in the incident. So you have to man up to all the situations that you was involved in. So instead of criticizing all the stuff, just man up to all the situation and move on. Face the facts. This was something three years ago, so why are we still talking about it?”
Not all former teammates of Hardy’s were supportive. Here’s what former Panthers WR Steve Smith had to say in reaction to Hardy’s interview with Adam Schefter:
— Steve Smith Sr (@89SteveSmith) April 4, 2016
Johnson had something to say to Smith in response to his criticism:
“I would tell Smitty don’t add on with the criticism of everybody else,” he said. “Try to help him out. If you ain’t going to help him out or bring him up, don’t say nothing at all. Don’t add to the criticism of everybody else.”
Johnson and Hardy stay in contact through text messages. Johnson’s advice to Hardy is to “just stay as low as possible” and hope for another chance.
“Stay humble,” Johnson said. “… Don’t add on to the fire. Be humble about it. Accept what you did. Accept the situation and move on and get back to where you want to be instead of keep revisiting what happened.”