Panthers gave Greg Hardy the franchise tag

The Carolina Panthers will designate defensive end Greg Hardy with the franchise tag, the organization announced on Friday.

The deadline to apply the franchise tag is Monday. For defensive ends, the tag for defensive ends is estimated to be in the $12.5 million range.

"We are very pleased that Greg will be back with the Panthers next season,” Carolina coach Ron Rivera said in a statement. "He was a big reason we were able to lead the league in sacks last year and keeps our defensive line intact.”

Hardy finished his 2013 campaign with 15 sacks, which helped him land his first appearance in the NFL Pro Bowl.

The Panthers drafted Hardy in the sixth round out of Ole Miss in 2010.

"The franchise mechanism gives us time to secure the services of a very good player while we continue to look at the future of Greg with the Carolina Panthers,” general manager Dave Gettleman said. "We have had great dialogue with both Greg and his agent. It was important to keep our defensive front together.”

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.

Aaron Wilson
Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post, his second stint at the Post. He has previously written for Pro Football Talk and FOX Sports-Scout. Entering his 13th year covering the Baltimore Ravens, he's a beat writer for The Baltimore Sun. Wilson has also covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans.

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