In May, a judge convicted Hardy of assaulting and communicating threats to his ex-girlfriend and sentenced him to 18 months' probation. He appealed the verdict, sending the case to a jury trial that likely won't start until after the 2014 season.
Gettleman said the NFL is also likely waiting for the legal process to play out before disciplining Hardy. More from the Observer:
Asked about going through the season with Hardy’s trial pending, Gettleman said: “Obviously, everybody has to deal with this and it’s not an easy situation. But it’s in the courts and we have to respect that process.”
Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, the Panthers could suspend Hardy for up to four games for conduct detrimental to the team. But Gettleman indicated the Panthers will wait for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to decide any punishment for Hardy.
Hardy had 15 sacks and 40 tackles for the Panthers last season. He's playing this season on a one-year, $13.1 million franchise tag contract after he and Carolina failed to agree to a long-term deal in the offseason.
- Ben Estes