Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images(SPARTANBURG, S.C.) — Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy has had a tumultuous offseason after he was arrested in May. As the team kicked off training camp last week, the Pro Bowler admitted that his legal situation has been a huge distraction for the team.
“I hate that I have distracted my team,” Hardy said as he addressed the media for the first time since being arrested and subsequently found guilty for assaulting and threatening his ex-girlfriend in May.
Hardy, 26, was arrested on May 13 after an incident in his Charlotte, North Carolina apartment. He was found guilty by a Mecklenburg County judge on July 15 and sentenced to 18 months probation and 60 days in jail, the latter of which was suspended.
The decision was appealed by Hardy’s attorney, who asked for a jury trial. That trial won’t take place until after the season.
“I can’t answer that question,” Hardy said when asked if he has apologized to his teammates. “It’s a team thing.”
The Panthers made Hardy their franchise player after he led the team in sacks last season, guaranteeing him $13.1 million in 2014. He will be a free agent in 2015.
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