Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Talks between Jaguars, Hardy Are at Standstill

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Talks between Jaguars, Hardy Are at Standstill

Article excerpt

While the Jaguars' talks for a contract extension with quarterback Mark Brunell press on, negotiations with Kevin Hardy are stalled with no sign of resuming.

Whether that means the team will trade the 1999 Pro Bowl linebacker is unclear, but it is increasingly clear that may be the only way for the Jaguars to take advantage of one of its two remaining sources of potential salary cap relief.

"Nothing's happening right now, and I don't honestly know what Kevin's future is," Hardy's agent, Ethan Lock, said yesterday. "That's not our place to decide."

Sources have told the Times-Union in recent weeks that not only have Hardy and Lock requested a trade, but also that the team is open to honoring the request.

"We respect the fact that they're going to control that," Lock said. "They're going to need to do what they need to do for the team. It's not a question of us being able to control that."

Hardy, the No. 2 overall choice in the 1996 NFL Draft, has a year remaining on his contract but wants a long-term extension at around $6 million a season. The team also would benefit from a long-term extension because it could provide cap relief.

Trading Hardy could save the Jaguars $2.3 million on the cap, enough to sign its rookie class after April.

The Jaguars are $149,000 under the cap and can re-sign no players until they create more room, which can only be done by restructuring the contracts of Brunell or Hardy or releasing more players. The team can clear about $2 million more by extending Brunell's deal. Although talks continued yesterday, and a source close to the negotiations said progress was made, Brunell and Jaguars Senior Vice President Michael Huyghue said yesterday a deal was not imminent.

Meanwhile, the Jaguars rejected at least three proposals from Hardy's representatives before and after March 1 before ceasing talks.

"We'll continue to talk," Huyghue said. "There's nothing pending right now, but he's a part of our plan. …

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