3 Chiefs free agents who could be forced into retirement

Who from the Chiefs might hang up the cleats this offseason?

Feb 11, 2024; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (11)
Feb 11, 2024; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (11) / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Mecole Hardman

Normally, suggesting that a 26-year-old wide receiver could be forced into retirement would seem crazy but most 26-year-old wide receivers haven't had the kind of tumultuous offseason that Mecole Hardman has already had.

After winning two Super Bowls in Kansas City during the first four years of his career, Hardman signed an affordable one-year deal with the New York Jets. He was under utilized in New York and was traded back to Kansas City before the trade deadline where he didn't make a huge impact until the Super Bowl. In case you forgot, Hardman caught the game-winning touchdown in overtime to give the Chiefs their third Super Bowl win in five years. Hardman also won his third Super Bowl ring.

Following the historic catch, things got interesting. Hardman discussed where things went wrong with him and the Jets, noting that he felt disrespected by their special teams head coach and that he told the Chiefs to trade for him and bring him back.

Sauce Gardner and Hardman got into it on social media with tweets that have since been deleted and Jets punter Thomas Morstead accused Hardman of leaking the Jets' game plan to other teams (a claim which Hardman has since denied).

With all of this drama unfolding over the offseason, if the Chiefs aren't interested in bringing Hardman back, he might have a tough time finding a job elsewhere. That could force the three-time Super Bowl champion into an early retirement.

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