Former Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman has signed with the New York Jets, which are in the process of acquiring Aaron Rodgers.
Patrick Mahomes is one key target lighter.
Mecole Hardman was drafted by Kansas City out of Georgia, but struggled to stay healthy in his final season prior to free agency. For KC, this will be the second wide receiver they lose this offseason, as JuJu Smith-Schuster signed with the New England Patriots last week.
Hardman is multifaceted, as he can play in the slot, run jet sweeps, return kicks and more. The Jets would be smart to employ him in the same mold — as a Swiss-army knife for their new quarterback, who is likely to be Aaron Rodgers.
Chiefs free agent Mecole Hardman signs with Jets
Hardman was projected to receive a multiyear deal worth over $10 million per season, making a return to Kansas City unlikely to start the offseason. Nonetheless, once Smith-Schuster left, KC general manager Brett Veach had renewed interest. It’s unclear what precisely Hardman will be paid by the Jets, but safe to assume it was out of the Chiefs price range for a player of his quality.
Rodgers will inherit an offense with plenty of young pieces, some of whom are familiar. Allen Lazard has signed with New York as well. Garrett Wilson is a capable player, and Breece Hall is coming off of injury in the backfield. When healthy, Hall was one of the better rookie running backs in football.
As for the Chiefs, they need to replace the likes of Hardman and Smith-Schuster affordably. The NFL Draft is a great place to do just that, and several mocks already have Kansas City trading up for one of the top targets in this class. Jordan Addison, for one, is expected to be drafted in the late first round.