The Kansas City Chiefs have acquired wide receiver Mecole Hardman in a trade with the New York Jets, and the two teams are swapping late-round picks to complete the deal.

It is a homecoming for Mecole Hardman. He spent the first four seasons of his career with the Chiefs playing with Patrick Mahomes, winning Super Bowls in 2019 and 2022. He signed with the Jets this offseason, and it did not work out. The coaching staff was unable to fit him into the team's plans on offense, and ended up being a healthy scratch in a game for them.

With the deal for Hardman being made between the Jets and Chiefs, we have grades for the deal.

Jets: C

This deal makes a lot of sense for the Jets. The disappointment for them should not be that the trade happened, it should be that they signed Mecole Hardman in free agency this offseason thinking they could make him a useful piece of their offense.

Whether it was the injury to Aaron Rodgers, or offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett not being able to work Hardman into the offense like he thought he would, it was not going to work with the Jets. They knew that, so they got what they could by trading him back to a team that is familiar with how to use him, even though Eric Bieniemy is gone.

If we were grading the signing of Hardman, it would get an F. That is not what we are doing. Credit the Jets for cutting bait on a mistake and getting something of value back. A grade of C seems appropriate.

Chiefs: B-


The weakness of the Chiefs' wide receiver room has been well-documented. They are depending a lot on Travis Kelce, as always, but that is even more true this year. The leading receivers behind Kelce are Rashee Rice, Justin Watson, Noah Gray and Skyy Moore. Each of them have under 250 yards. Kelce is already at 346 yards in one less game, according to ESPN.

Hardman is by no means an elite receiver. However, Patrick Mahomes knows how he is best used. So does Andy Reid. They would not have brought him back if they did not believe they could find success with him in some way.

This does not massively change the bleak wide receiver room for the Chiefs, but it is a solid move for a guy they know, and it did not cost much. A letter grade of B- feels right.