Sunday July 27th, 2014

Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy briefly spoke Sunday on his May arrest for domestic assault, telling reporters at training camp that he regretted becoming a "distraction" for his team.

"I hate that I have distracted my team," Hardy told reporters on Sunday in his first comments since the arrest, according to ESPN.com. "Other than that I can't answer that question."

Hardy was arrested in May and, earlier this month, was found guilty on two counts of domestic violence — assaulting a female and communicating threats. Mecklenburg County Judge Rebecca Thorn-Tin sentenced Hardy to 18 months' probation, but Hardy's lawyer has said he will appeal, sending the case to a jury trial that likely won't begin until after the completion of the 2014 season. 

The original charges stemmed from an altercation with his girlfriend, 24-year-old Nicole Holder. According to police reports, Holder claimed Hardy threw her on a couch with firearms on it during an argument. She said Hardy proceeded to choke her and threatened to kill her.

The Panthers have said they're disappointed in Hardy, but general manager Dave Gettleman said the team won't discipline him until his trial has concluded.

Hardy, 25, will be playing on a one-year, $13 million contract under the franchise tag this season after he and the Panthers failed to negotiate a long-term deal this offseason. Last season, Hardy had 15 sacks and 40 tackles for the Panthers. 

MORE: Panthers' offseason report card >

-Brett LoGiurato

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