Mecole Hardman Blasts the New York Jets in Shocking Podcast Interview

Mecole Hardman stirred up controversy Wednesday, ripping the Jets' use of him and team culture along with potentially admitting to tampering.

Mecole Hardman didn’t pull any punches when discussing his departure from the New York Jets this week. The now former Jet dished on his issues with the franchise, events that led to him wanting out, along with discussions with the Kansas City Chiefs to trade for him, leading to allegations of tampering.

Mecole Hardman Rips Jets in Podcast Interview

Hardman made an appearance on Wednesday’s episode of The Pivot podcast, hosted by Ryan Clark, and dished on a variety of topics. He spoke about his game-winning catch in Super Bowl 58, Travis Kelce’s leadership and Taylor Swift, but the most notable portion came in his discussions of the Jets.

Hardman had spent the first four seasons of his NFL career in Kansas City and was part of their two Super Bowl wins in 2019 and 2022. Yet, he signed a one-year contract worth $4 million with the Jets during the offseason.

Hardman quickly became disenfranchised with New York, however, and was traded back to the Chiefs on Oct. 18 alongside a seventh-round draft pick with the Jets receiving a sixth-round pick in return.

Hardman expressed displeasure with the way he was utilized in New York on the podcast, expressing that he felt he was as good or better than all of the team’s wide receivers other than Garrett Wilson. Hardman also took shots at the Jets’ team culture.

“I know what winning looks like. I know what winning is,” Hardman said.

“Y’all keep telling me certain things, I’m not going for that because y’all are not doing it right. We got helmets on the ground, we don’t got no discipline, people feel like it’s too many individual egos in this locker room. I’m telling them, that’s not gonna get y’all to win. It’s not going to happen.”

Hardman’s comments drew some ire from Jets punter Thomas Morstead, who tweeted a response.

“Be careful getting information from disgruntled former employees,” Morstead said. “Getting beat out by a rookie free agent after being guaranteed millions of dollars is tough to deal with. Entitlement is a killer of opportunity. You have to earn it every year.”

Hardman’s relationship with the Jets seems to have particularly soured following the team’s Week 6 game against the Chiefs, in which Hardman said he refused to return punts.

He said he was misled by special teams coach Brant Boyer and did not have time to prepare after being asked to do the job the night of the game with typical returner Xavier Gipson sidelined by injury a few days prior.

Hardman said he was already checked out by that point, and was in communication with Chiefs general manager Brett Veach and quarterback Patrick Mahomes about a trade back to the franchise.

“I was so checked out, like, it was over with,” Hardman said. “I had already talked to Veach and Pat, like, ‘Come get me.’”

Two weeks later, Hardman was traded back to Kansas City, and he has since helped the franchise win its third Super Bowl in the last five seasons, catching the game-winning touchdown pass in overtime.

His comments on talking with Kansas City and asking for them to trade him, however, drew plenty of ire from fans and analysts alike. Discussing such possibilities with members of another franchise without permission from the Jets could certainly be considered a violation of the NFL’s rules against tampering, which could bring on ramifications for the Chiefs.

KEEP READING: Could Zach Wilson Land in Kansas City?

SNY TV reporter Connor Hughes said Jets general manager Joe Douglas “didn’t seem thrilled” with Hardman’s comments, adding that the franchise “can, and likely will” ask the NFL to look into the matter.

Kansas City could receive a fine or even loss of draft compensation if the NFL finds the franchise did break league tampering rules.

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