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AP Source: Greg Hardy to meet with NFL officials

Updated at: 03/03/2015 8:22 PM
By STEVE REED

(AP) CHARLOTTE, N.C. - CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Panthers defensive end and soon-to-be free agent Greg Hardy will meet with NFL officials in New York on Wednesday to discuss his domestic violence case, a person familiar with the situation said Tuesday.

The person spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no public announcement of the meeting has been made.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league had no comment.

The meeting means Hardy's lengthy legal saga could be coming to an end soon.

Hardy has been on the commissioner's exempt list since September.

He becomes a free agent March 10. While he's not expected to re-sign with Carolina, he could command millions on the market.

Hardy, 26, was convicted of assault on a female and communicating threats last summer, but charges were dismissed Feb. 9 during an appeal trial when his accuser couldn't be located to testify. Prosecutors say Hardy reached a civil suit agreement with the accuser.

The NFL has said it is investigating Hardy's case.

The league unsuccessfully petitioned to have evidence from Hardy's first trial unsealed. Without that evidence, it may be difficult for the league to suspend Hardy.

Hardy potentially faces up to a six-game suspension from the NFL for violating its domestic abuse policy even though the charges against him were dismissed.

Hardy is seeking immediate reinstatement from the NFL — before he hits the free agent market next week — after a federal judge cleared way for Adrian Peterson's return to the league. Like Peterson, Hardy spent the majority of last season on the commissioner's exempt list preventing him from playing football.

Hardy was Carolina's franchise player last season.

Despite being convicted last summer he was allowed to play in Carolina's first game before eventually being placed on the commissioner's exempt list when Roger Goodell began to toughen his stance on domestic violence offenders in the wake of the Ray Rice incident.

Still, Hardy collected $13.1 million last year from the Panthers as their franchise player. He had 15 sacks in 2013, tying a franchise record.

Hardy posted photographs from photographs on social media of New York on Tuesday, but did not mention a meeting with the NFL.

NOTES: The Panthers announced Tuesday they have re-signed defensive tackle Colin Cole to a one-year contract. Details on the contract were not available.

(Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)