Less than 24 hours ago, most people had no clue what the Commissioner’s Exempt List was. Now suddenly, two very important players have been placed on the list.
Earlier this morning, the Minnesota Vikings placed running back Adrian Peterson on the list, essentially barring him from team activities until his situation is resolved. Now, the Carolina Panthers, under immense public pressure, have done the same thing to their prized defensive end.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Greg Hardy has agreed to be put on the exempt list:
Now official: Panthers DE Greg Hardy agreed to the exempt list, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 17, 2014
Hardy has already released a statement agreeing with the decision via Pro Football Talk:
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.
Hardy was convicted by a judge of domestic violence, but is appealing and seeking a jury trial, which is his right in the state of North Carolina. The Panthers had originally said they would allow Hardy’s legal process to play out, and even allowed Hardy to play in Week 1.
That decision came under intense scrutiny however, and the Panthers deactivated Hardy before the Panthers Week 2 game against the Detroit Lions. As with Peterson, the timetable for Hardy returning is unknown right now.
Hopefully, for the NFL, these recent decisions will allow fans and media to focus on the games heading into Week 3 as the bad news has been non-stop for the league for over a week.