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Greg Hardy's case dismissed in domestic violence trial

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Hardy's trial for domestic violence ended Monday with the case getting thrown out.

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Greg Hardy's trial for domestic violence is over after the Carolina Panthers pass rusher's case was dismissed due to the unavailability of the alleged victim, according to Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer.

According to Jones, a settlement was reached between Hardy and his accuser, Nicole Holder, although the case was dismissed by the judge before that settlement was finalized in court. The district attorney said Holder, who didn't appear in court Monday, made herself "completely unavailable" for the trial.

Hardy, 26, played just one game in 2014 after he was convicted last summer for assaulting and threatening to kill an ex-girlfriend. His appeal trial was set to begin Monday, but is now over before jury selection even began. That doesn't mean things will go back to normal for Hardy, though.

The NFL issued a statement on Hardy after the case was dismissed, via Albert Breer of NFL Network: "His status remains unchanged until we fully review the matter."

The 2013 Pro Bowler is unlikely to return to the Panthers and could still face ramifications from the NFL. Hardy didn't serve a suspension during the 2014 season and instead stayed on the commissioner's exempt list, so it remains to be seen if he'll have to face the six-game suspension that is now automatically tied with domestic violence acts and followed by a lifetime ban with a second violation.

Even a lesser suspension from the league would likely damage Hardy's price tag on the free agency market, which appears to be where the defensive end is headed. The Panthers were wary about paying the pass rusher much even before his arrest and hedged their bets by using the franchise tag instead.

In the time since Hardy's arrest, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson has spoken strongly against domestic violence and the team has shown zero interest in making future investments in Hardy, according to the Charlotte Observer.

Still, it's difficult to imagine a 26-year-old pass rusher who managed 26 sacks in 2012 and 2013 won't be able to find a landing spot quickly. Hardy received a one-year, $13.1 million deal for 2014 after Carolina used the franchise tag.

UPDATE, 4:54 p.m. ET: The Panthers released a statement Monday afternoon, echoing the league's stance on Hardy:

"We are aware of the decision by the district attorney's office to dismiss charges against Greg Hardy. Greg remains on the Commissioner's Exempt List and the NFL has advised us to allow it to complete its review under the Personal Conduct Policy. There is no change in his status at this time."