Chiefs’ Mecole Hardman reflects on failed Jets tenure

    Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman is preparing to face the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII this Sunday after he flopped with the New York Jets this past fall. 

    “It was a roller coaster,” Hardman said during his Super Bowl media availability about his Jets tenure, per Brian Costello of the New York Post. “Things definitely didn’t go like I wanted it to go. I guess I just wasn’t on the same page with everybody. There’s no bad blood over there. I’m happy for everybody over there. I’m still cool with some of those guys. I wish them the best. I think things happened like it was supposed to.”

    Hardman was one of a handful of players who joined the Jets last offseason once it became clear that quarterback Aaron Rodgers would force his way from the Green Bay Packers to Gang Green. Rodgers then went down with a torn Achilles four offensive snaps into the regular-season opener, and Hardman quickly became a forgotten figure as part of a unit that featured him for a total of 28 offensive snaps across five games before he was traded to Kansas City. 

    Hardman originally played for the Chiefs from 2019 through the 2022 season. 

    “I don’t know if he didn’t know how to use me, in a sense, or just felt like he didn’t need to,” Hardman said about his relationship with Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. “I don’t know what their thinking was when it came to me and having me on the field or not. There were plays where I could have gone into the game. Was it called? Not really. I think Hackett is a great guy. When it came to me, I don’t know what the thought process was.”

    Despite everything that happened with the Jets, Hardman called New York’s Breece Hall “definitely a top-five running back in the league.” Hardman also offered high praise for young Jets receiver Garrett Wilson.

    “He’s the most athletic, freakish receiver I’ve ever been around — how he can twerk his body, just stop and his catching ability,” Hardman added about Wilson. “They have one of the best defenses in the league. I think with Aaron [Rodgers] coming back, and hopefully they get some pieces in the offseason, I think they can be really good.”

    Hardman logged just one offensive snap in Kansas City’s AFC Championship win over the Baltimore Ravens on Jan. 28 and may be a non-factor versus the 49ers. Nevertheless, the 25-year-old could hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy on a Super Bowl Sunday for the third time since February 2020. 

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