Jets take notice of Hardman's plea to Chiefs during the season to 'come get me'

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Jets general manager Joe Douglas says the team took notice of Super Bowl star Mecole Hardman saying on a podcast he told the Kansas City Chiefs to “come get me” while he was disgruntled in New York earlier this season.

“I’ll just say those comments definitely resonated with us,” Douglas told reporters Wednesday at the NFL combine.

The wide receiver, who spent his first four NFL seasons with the Chiefs, signed with the Jets last March as a free agent. He struggled to find a role in New York's offense after quarterback Aaron Rodgers was lost for the season with a torn left Achilles tendon. Hardman also was beat out for the primary punt return role by undrafted rookie Xavier Gipson.

Hardman had just one catch for 6 yards in five games with the Jets. He was critical of the team during an interview on “The Pivot” podcast hosted by former NFL star safety and current ESPN analyst Ryan Clark.

Leading into New York's game against Kansas City in Week 4, Hardman says he was “so checked out, like, it was over with.” He added he had already spoken to both Chiefs GM Brett Veach and quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

"Like, 'come get me,’” Hardman said he told them.

It was not immediately certain if the Jets would pursue possible tampering charges with the NFL against the Chiefs.

The Jets traded Hardman and a seventh-round pick in the 2025 draft to the Chiefs three weeks later for a 2025 sixth-rounder.

On Tuesday night, Hardman tried to clarify his comments on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

“Never had talks with KC before the trade, so we can CLEAR THAT UP!” Hardman wrote. “The Jets handled my trade on their own and did the right thing by sending me back to KC!”

Hardman caught the winning touchdown pass from Mahomes in overtime, helping Kansas City beat San Francisco 25-22 in the Super Bowl this month.

“Ultimately, we made a decision to move on from Mecole, but our process of adding Mecole, he was excited to be here and it just didn’t work out,” Douglas said. “And a lot of that has to do with Xavier.”


The Associated Press