Following discussions that involved Greg Hardy and his representatives, the NFL, NFL Players Association, and Carolina Panthers, Hardy has decided to take a voluntary leave with pay until his legal proceedings are resolved. He will be placed on the Commissioner Exempt list for roster purposes.
"We understand Greg's decision and given the circumstances, it is very important he concentrates on his legal issues," general manager Dave Gettleman said. "We believe that this is the right course of action at this time."
Said Hardy: "I understand that I need to step away from football right now and take care of this legal matter. I am entitled to due process and my day in court, and that's where my focus should be. I appreciate the Panthers for giving me this opportunity and look forward to being back with my teammates as soon as possible. I am disappointed to leave my teammates and the Carolina Panthers organization during our season. My decision to take a leave of absence allows me to focus on my family until the legal process has run its course."
According to the NFL Player Personnel Policy Manual: The Exempt List is a special player status available to clubs only in unusual circumstances. The List includes those players who have been declared by the Commissioner to be temporarily exempt from counting within the Active List limit. Only the Commissioner has the authority to place a player on the Exempt List; clubs have no such authority, and no exemption, regardless of circumstances, is automatic. The Commissioner also has the authority to determine in advance whether a player's time on the Exempt List will be finite or will continue until the Commissioner deems the exemption should be lifted and the player returned to the Active List.