The Green Bay Packers apparently have struck again in free agency, with veteran defensive end Anthony Hargrove going on Twitter and suggesting he would be signing with the team.
“Can’t wait for my first Lambeau Leap on game day,” Hargrove said, though he added he has not signed.
In eight seasons, Hargrove has recorded 19.5 sacks, including three last season with Seattle, five with New Orleans in 2009 and 6.5 in 2005 with St. Louis. In Green Bay, he projects to an inside pass-rusher on passing downs.
As Scout.com’s Aaron Wilson was the first to report, Hargrove visited Green Bay on Friday.
On the surface, Hargrove is a curious signing by general manager Ted Thompson because he comes with some baggage and could be in line for a suspension for his role in the Saints’ bounty scandal.
With St. Louis in 2006, he went AWOL for a couple of days and wound up getting shipped to Buffalo. With the Bills, he was suspended for the first four games of the 2007 for a second violation of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. He then sat out the entire 2008 season for a third violation of the substance-abuse policy.
While suspended, Hargrove spent 10 months at Transitions Recovery Program in North Miami Beach to turn his life around.
As he told The New York Times before Super Bowl XLIV while a member of the Saints: “I had tried to kill myself a few times, but it had never worked. I was taking sleeping pills and I tried to take a whole bottle of them, but I’d wake up a day and a half later and be like, ‘OK, that didn’t work.’ And I’d have to go to work weak.”
The turning point for Hargrove, he said, came when he was told to write a three-page goodbye letter to his parents. He stopped using marijuana and cocaine and was rewarded with a Super Bowl ring with the Saints in 2009.
Hargrove made headlines again as part of the Saints bounty controversy and his hit on Vikings quarterback Brett Favre in the NFC Championship Game. Hargrove was penalized and fined $5,000 for a late hit on Favre, and according to Sports Illustrated, Hargrove celebrated Favre’s ankle injury by saying, “Favre is out of the game! Favre is done! Favre is done!”
Hargrove released a statement last week calling the late hit and his comments “mistakes,” and said he received “nothing for the play some keep referencing,” though he did receive a game ball.
The NFL has not suspended any players for the scandal, but it’s possible the Packers would not have his services to start the season.
Hargrove, who will turn 29 on July 20, was a third-round pick out of Georgia Tech by St. Louis in 2004.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.