Just when their fans had started getting there hopes up for the 2015 season, the Dallas Cowboys were dealt a crushing blow from the National Football League by suspending Greg Hardy for 10 games.
The Cowboys knew that they were taking a risk when they signed former Carolina Panthers defensive end Hardy, who had been released following a messy domestic violence court case that ended with a rumoured settlement that stopped the case reaching court.
But it's not just the suspension that will be worrying the Cowboys today, but the news that Hardy nearly got into a fight with one of his new teammates.
Article continues below
According to a report from Mike Garafolo and Alex Marvez of Fox Sports, Hardy got into an argument with fellow defensive lineman Davon Coleman and the two had to be restrained by teammates before it got physical.
I know what you may be thinking, but this wasn't just your regular workout clash between fiery teammates, this was something extra, with Coleman reportedly setting Hardy into a rage by calling him a "Woman Beater."
Article continues below
The dispute between Hardy and Coleman arose from Hardy's questioning Coleman's effort during conditioning drills, a source said. The situation escalated when...Coleman took a dig at Hardy's domestic violence issues.
Coleman's agent, Michael Loeffler, confirmed there was a confrontation between Hardy and his client, though Loeffler said it was only a verbal argument and not a physical fight. Sources said teammates got in between the two players before the argument could escalate.
Hardy signed a one-year deal worth a base value of $11,311,600, though there's no guaranteed money in the deal. Hardy also has $9.25 million tied up in per-game roster bonuses — $578,125 for each game active.
Hardy was suspended by the NFL following their investigation into his domestic violence case, finding undeniably that Hardy had abused his former girlfriend Nicola Holder.
The NFL's statement about their decision went into great detail about the crimes committed by Hardy, with four instances of violence detailed by Hardy against Holder.
“First, he used physical force against her which caused her to land in a bathtub," the statement read. "Second, he used physical force against her which caused her to land on a futon that was covered with at least four semi-automatic rifles.
"Third, he used physical force against her by placing his hands around Ms. Holder’s neck and applying enough pressure to leave visible marks. And fourth, he used physical force to shove Ms. Holder against a wall in his apartment’s entry hallway," it continues.
The statement then goes on to document the injuries caused to Hardy's ex-girlfriend, which ranged from severe bruises and scratching to deep emotional trauma.
“The net effect of these acts was that Ms. Holder was severely traumatized and sustained a range of injuries, including bruises and scratches on her neck, shoulders, upper chest, back, arms and feet,” Commissioner Goodell wrote.
Goodell went on to decry the use of force by such a giant of a man against a defenceless woman.
This is just the start of Hardy being called out. It will likely plague him for this season and maybe even the rest of his career. The former Panthers star has to learn to not react to it.