The Panthers have been talking with defensive end Greg Hardy and his representatives about possibly getting a long-term deal done before the start of the season according to a league source.

Hardy coming off a breakthrough season in 2012 is set to make $1.35million this season in the final year of his rookie deal.

Drew Rosenhaus Hardy’s agent approached Panthers’ officials about a contract extension during the spring. At the time first-year general manager Dave Gettleman was working to get the Panthers’ salary cap situation under control.

Gettleman inherited a roster that was $16million over the cap when he was hired in January. The Panthers currently are about $12million below the cap.

Through a team spokesman Gettleman declined comment.

After finishing with seven sacks total over his first two seasons Hardy had 11 in 2012. He added 23 quarterback pressures and two forced fumbles.

Hardy 25 a sixth-round pick from Mississippi in 2010 combined with defensive end Charles Johnson for 231/2 sacks last season the second-highest total by a pass-rushing tandem in team history.

If they fail to reach an agreement on a long-term deal with Hardy the Panthers could use the franchise tag to keep him. The tag for defensive ends cost teams $11.2million this year.