Oakland Raiders: Greg Hardy Still Not Coming To The Bay Area

Nov 8, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy (76) prior to a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium. Eagles won 33-27 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 8, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy (76) prior to a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium. Eagles won 33-27 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports /

The Oakland Raiders have once again surfaced as a landing spot for troubled defensive end Greg Hardy – but it’s no more likely to happen now than it was before.

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As long as Greg Hardy continues to be unemployed, the Oakland Raiders are seemingly always going to surface as a potential landing spot. Despite the fact that Mark Davis gave a very unequivocal “no” when the pass rusher’s name came up in connection with the Raiders last year, some writers continue trying to force a square peg into a round hole. But Davis’ interest in Hardy this year is the same as it was last year – non-existent.

Pro Football Rumors’ Dallas Robinson recently put together a list of the best defensive free agents still on the market. With Hardy being the third best player still looking for a place to call home, Robinson put out a piece detailing the most likely landing spots for the currently out of work pass rusher.

And of course, in Robinson’s – ahem – wise estimation, the Raiders continue to be a potential destination for Hardy.

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It boggles the mind and defies logic to think that people out there continue trying to connect Hardy and the Raiders. It’s as if Davis’ very public statement about Hardy coming to the Silver and Black never happened.

Just in case you may have forgotten, let’s refresh your memory. In an interview with Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News in March 2015, Davis had this to say about the rumors that he had interest in bringing Hardy to Oakland:

"“False, falser and falsest. That is not true. I’m saying that he’s somebody we are not negotiating with and I don’t believe we would be interested in at this point in time. I can tell you this: It has not been brought up to me and it would have to come to me …”"

Davis has a long and outspoken history denouncing domestic violence. Not only that, but the organization was touched by it in a very real way when Raider legend Fred Biletnikoff‘s daughter Tracey was murdered by her boyfriend, which has only reinforced that position.

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Let’s also not forget that Hardy was initially convicted on two counts of domestic violence. He then appealed his conviction to a jury trial and after reportedly reaching a civil settlement with his ex-girlfriend outside of the courts, Nicole Holder did not turn up for the jury trial forcing the district attorney to drop the charges against him.

Make no mistake about it though, having the charges dropped because a witness did not show up after reportedly being paid off is not the same as Hardy being found not guilty of the crimes he was initially convicted of.

While Robinson does note – pretty much only in passing – Davis’ zero tolerance policy on domestic violence, he goes on to make the case for Hardy to the Raiders.

"“Hardy could be the final piece on Oakland’s front seven, helping out at end on early downs before sliding inside on passing downs. A team on the rise like the Raiders might risk the public relations backlash that will come with signing Hardy in order to add a talent that could push them over the top.”"

It’s as if Robinson isn’t existing on the same plane of reality that the rest of us are.

From a purely football standpoint, it should also be more than clear to Robinson that the Raiders have moved on and don’t need Hardy anyway. Getting Mario Edwards Jr. back from injury, having Khalil Mack already in the fold, bringing in free agent Bruce Irvin, re-signing Aldon Smith, and drafting the likes of Shilique Calhoun and Jihad Ward have given the Raiders a lot of talent and a lot of depth.

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  • And also from a purely football standpoint, let’s face facts – after the complete debacle that was Hardy’s stint with the Dallas Cowboys last season, he’s far more risk than reward at this point. With just six sacks in 12 games with the Cowboys – not to mention the fact that he was a cancer in the locker room – what does he bring to the table that would benefit a team on the upswing like Oakland?

    Hardy’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, is beating the drum for his client, letting anybody willing to listen that Hardy has gotten some counseling and is on the right track to becoming a decent human being.

    But that still doesn’t erase what he did, doesn’t erase the complete lack of remorse he showed in an interview with ESPN writer Adam Schefter earlier this year, and doesn’t erase the fact that to date, he has not taken responsibility for his actions.

    And it most certainly doesn’t erase Mark Davis’ position on domestic violence and those who commit it.

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    People are free to speculate and connect dots that don’t exist – this is a free country after all. And because it’s a free country, the rest of us are also allowed to call out the garbage when we see it. And really, there is nothing else to call the perpetuation of these Hardy to the Raiders rumors – garbage. Hot, steaming garbage.

    Greg Hardy is toxic and he’s no more likely to wind up in Silver and Black this season than he was last season. No matter how many times writers like Robinson try to put it out there.