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Two-time Super Bowl Champ Inks FA Deal with Gang Green

Former Chiefs' receiver Mecole Hardman joins the Jets on one-year deal
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The New York Jets are adding speed to their receiving corps through free agency.

According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, wide receiver Mecole Hardman agreed to terms with Gang Green following four seasons in Kansas City.

Hardman, who was the No. 56 overall selection in the 2019 Draft, earned two Super Bowl rings while playing his entire rookie contract with the Chiefs.

After exceeding the 500-yard receiving mark in each of his first three NFL seasons, the 5-foot-10 Hardman saw his production dip due to injury in 2022.

The former second-round draft pick went on injured reserve after missing the Chiefs’ Week 10 win over Jacksonville and he did not return to game action until the AFC Championship Game on January 29.

Hardman made two receptions and carried the ball twice in Kansas City’s 23-20 victory over Cincinnati, but had to leave the field early after reaggravating his injury. He was inactive for Super Bowl LVII and has since had surgery.

“I’m definitely on the right track. Probably ahead of schedule right now as we speak,” said Hardman during his Jets' introductory press conference on March 23. “Hopefully I’ll be fully healthy before OTAs even start.”

Hardman entered the final year of his rookie contract off his most-productive pass-catching campaign yet. In 2021, he set career highs in receptions (59) and receiving yards (693).

In 57 career regular season games with the Chiefs, Hardman made 151 receptions for 2,088 yards and 16 touchdowns. The former Georgia Bulldog has played in 10 playoff games, totaling 336 yards from scrimmage over four different postseasons.

Hardman impressed scouts by running the 40-yard dash in 4.33s at the 2019 NFL Combine.

He routinely displayed his explosiveness during his first season in Kansas City, piling up 1,426 all-purpose yards en-route to earning a Pro Bowl nod as a return specialist. Hardman averaged an eye-popping 20.7 yards reception and scored seven touchdowns in 2019.

Hardman’s arrival made Jets’ former second-round pick Elijah Moore somewhat expendable. 

After unconfirmed speculation that Gang Green was looking to trade Moore, possibly as part of a deal for Aaron Rodgers, the Jets sent the Ole Miss product to the Cleveland Browns.

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