The NFL has begun their Friday afternoon news dump! The league announced that Greg Hardy's appeal has resulted in a reduction of his suspension. Roger Goodell suspended Hardy for ten games, but arbitrator Harold Henderson has reduced it to four games.
This saga is not necessarily complete. Prior to this news, there were reports Hardy would sue in federal court if the suspension was not reduced to two games or less. Hardy's argument would be that when he was arrested for assaulting and threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend, the existing personal conduct policy called for a two-game suspension. He would argue in court that the league is imposing the new policy, when it should be the old policy. This is a similar argument to what Adrian Peterson made in federal court.
Hardy's agent Drew Rosenhaus released this statement:
.@RosenhausSports: "I will confer with Greg, the NFLPA and his lawyers to discuss our next move. Still considering further legal action."— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 10, 2015
My guess is Hardy accepts the four games and moves on from it, but we'll see. Hardy may be an awful person, but he could very well have a winning case (gotta love the law!). However, given the reduction to four games, this might be enough for him to sit it out and move on. If Hardy does sit these four games, he would miss the Cowboys matchups at home against the New York Giants, at the Philadelphia Eagles, home against the Atlanta Falcons and at the New Orleans Saints.
The whole thing does show just how bizarre NFL punishment can be. The league wanted to make a statement, and in turn likely "over-punished" depending on some metric that is hard to figure out. Aldon Smith was suspended nine games, and that was upheld all the way through. Smith needed a wake-up call, so I am actually fine with that. But given how awful the NFL has been at coming up with some semblance of a domestic violence policy, all of this just puts more egg on the face of the league.