Greg Hardy has incentive to work out

Updated: April 29, 2014, 2:51 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy arrived at offseason workouts last week with a "Kraken" T-shirt, orange shoes -- and a $1.3 million advance on his 2014 salary that is guaranteed if he participates in the entire program, a source said.

The latter aspect, according to the source, is unprecedented for a player who has received the franchise tag.

[+] EnlargeGreg Hardy
AP Photo/Bob LeveroneGreg Hardy has $1.3 million reasons to show up at offseason workouts.

The news was earlier reported by ProFootballTalk.com.

This imaginative restructuring of Hardy's tag number of $13.1 million was made to guarantee that the team's 2013 sacks leader (15) was present for all of Carolina's offseason workouts, which began April 21.

The 2010 sixth-round pick out of Ole Miss, who three years ago proclaimed Kraken as his alter ego, will get paid weekly during organized team activities.

Hardy, 25, reportedly lost $100,000 in salary last season for not participating in at least 90 percent of the team's offseason programs in the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

The Panthers have said they would like to work out a long-term deal for Hardy, which should lower his 2014 cap figure. The team has until July 15 to reach a new deal before the $13.1 million tag number goes into full effect. If that happens, Hardy would be eligible to become a free agent after the 2014 season -- unless the Panthers tag him again for 2015.

Hardy has had a busy offseason that, he told ESPN.com earlier this year, includes work on a music career.

"I've heard about it," middle linebacker Luke Kuechly said last week. "Guys are saying that Greg's doing his thing. Greg's Greg, and that's why we love Greg.

"He came in today, and he's got his Kraken shirt on with his orange shoes. But Greg's a good dude to have around."

General manager David Gettleman declined to comment Tuesday on why the team agreed to pay Hardy the $1.3 million advance to attend all of the offseason workouts.

"I wanted him to be close to me,'' Gettleman joked.

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter

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