Greg Hardy has been a lightning rod of controversy since well before the Dallas Cowboys signed him last week. Hardy was convicted of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, and even though the case was dismissed, he brings considerable baggage with him to Dallas. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones felt comfortable enough with Hardy's background to give him a one-year deal, which he told Pro Football Talk is far less than the defensive end would have received without the off-the-field concerns.
"He's paid a terrific price," Jones said in reference to Hardy's assault charges. "Had he not had this incident his contract would be one like Ndamukong Suh, possibly, but he doesn't have that."
While it's unlikely Hardy would have earned as much as Suh in any circumstance, he certainly cost himself a lot of money with his assault charges. In the aftermath of Ray Rice, players who commit violent acts against women can no longer expect to face minimal consequences. Even though the charges didn't stick, the fact that Hardy was originally convicted and only escaped punishment due to a settlement with the victim scared off NFL teams such as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Jones went on to discuss the prospect of the league suspending Hardy. As Jones explains it, the contract is built in anticipation of that possibility as well as any repeat offense.
"All of that is all incorporated in that agreement and the bottom line is we hope and feel that he won't do that again, go down this road again."