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Free-agent DE Greg Hardy on returning to NFL: I have to show I’m not a psychopath

(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Greg Hardy is hoping to repair his image by playing in the Spring League, remains adamant he did not violate the NFL’s personal conduct policy when he was suspended for four games in 2015, he told Bleacher Report.

“I’m working to get the Greg Hardy name back in good standings, and for redemption,” he told Bleacher Report about playing in the independent football league that began this year. “An apologetic, happy comeback. Get to the Hall of Fame.”

He told the website he knows he has a lot to overcome to get back into the NFL.

“I’m kind of on the black side of things right now, with the perception of my persona,” he told Bleacher Report. “It’s hard to fight the fans. You can’t be right about somebody if you don’t know them — that’s just a basic common decency fact. But nobody wants to attest to that, so I have to show that Greg Hardy is not a f—ing psychopath. And I say ‘f—ing’ because it’s that extreme. I want people to see that, instead of reading and believing the latest stories.”

Hardy continues to maintain he should not have been suspended for the domestic violence incident involving his former girlfriend, Nicole Holder, in 2014. Although the charges were dropped and Hardy’s record was expunged, Deadspin released photos from the night of the incident that showed bruising to Holder’s back, jaw and feet. In a 2016 interview with ESPN, Hardy said he was “innocent” and “pictures are pictures, and they can be made to look like whatever they want to.”

In the interview with Bleacher Report, he is standing by his stance that he only should have been suspended if he was convicted.

“Guilty? I mean, the United States of America said I wasn’t,” he told Bleacher Report. “But apologetic, most definitely. I’m sorry for anything I did wrong. I never wanted to do anything wrong.”

Hardy, 28, also is currently on probation for a 2016 arrest for cocaine possession in Richardson, Texas. He avoided jail earlier this year with a plea deal and was sentenced to two years’ probation, community service and was fined $500.

In his last NFL season, 2015 with the Dallas Cowboys, he had six sacks but he also missed team meetings and his Twitter activity forced coach Jason Garrett to speak with him. Owner and general manager Jerry Jones also had a sit-down meeting with Hardy later in the season. The Cowboys didn’t attempt to re-sign him last offseason.

Hardy was a Pro Bowl selection in 2013, when he had a career-best 15 sacks. He has registered 40 sacks in his career.

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