Mecole Hardman makes it clear he won’t come back to Aaron Rodgers-led New York Jets

Admin - March 1, 2024

It would be fair to say that things have not exactly worked out between Aaron Rodgers and the New York Jets after his first season at the MetLife Stadium franchise.

The veteran quarterback suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon injury in his first game, and though a positive 4-3 start saw many fans consider the prospect of a rare playoff appearance, the campaign petered out, and that dream was over for another season.

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In terms of what next season might bring for Robert Saleh's team, one thing appears certain: wide receiver Mecole Hardman has no intention of returning. The 25-year-old helped the Kansas City Chiefs to win two Super Bowl titles before he moved to the New York Jets in 2023, but after just five games, he returned to the Arrowhead Stadium as part of a late-round draft pick to clinch a third Super Bowl success.

He struggled to make an impact for Andy Reid’s team, fumbling twice in their divisional clash with the Buffalo Bills before scoring the Super Bowl-clinching touchdown in overtime against the San Francisco 49ers. 

Commenting on his long-term plans, with Hardman now being a free agent, he stated,

"We'll just see if they want me back,"

"If not, it might be somewhere else, so we'll see." Hardman added.

On the possibility of a return to the New York Jets, he stated categorically,

"No, I won't go back to the Jets." 

Interestingly, after his Super Bowl-winning heroics, Hardman was reminded how he had been at the Jets in October, to which he responded curtly.

"Don't remind me." 

He had moved to the Jets with a view to playing with Rodgers, which clearly did not pan out as he would have hoped, and his impact at the Chiefs has clearly put the ball very much in Hardman’s court in terms of what sort of deal he can expect to receive as a free agent.

On what that future brings, Hardman commented,

"Right now, you just hearing talk and see what's going on," 

"And then you get a better idea [of interested teams] as the week goes on."

It seems very likely he’ll be staying with the Kansas City Chiefs, though a lot depends on what sort of deal he would be offered and, of course, how Andy Reid sees Hardman as part of his overall plans.

On his Super Bowl-winning touchdown, Hardman has commented on the immediate aftermath,

"When I blacked out, I didn't know what was going on until [Mahomes] came up running and was like, 'You're a champion! We just won!'" 

"I'm like, 'Oh, you're right, we did.' And we started celebrating after that. But I definitely blacked out, for sure." Hardman concluded.