The Cons of Trading for Mecole Hardman
The start of any argument against trading for Mecole Hardman can likely be found in the team's willingness to watch him depart this offseason. It's not as if the Jets created some insurmountable wall of competition in free agency. It was a modest one-year deal and Hardman took it to play in the AFC East. If the Chiefs really believed Hardman was an important asset to keep the chains moving, they could have met that price.
That said, there's no way to know the reasons why Hardman left in the first place without hearing directly from team or player and fans are unlikely to ever get such a quote. Maybe Hardman wanted a chance to shine outside of the Chiefs offense. Perhaps the Chiefs did make a decent offer but the Jets challenged him on bet on himself with Rodgers for an even greater payday. There's just no way to know.
Beyond the fact that the Chiefs allowed Hardman to walk, however, there are other reasons to dislike the deal. A few points of concern can be found in not wanting to give up further draft assets and/or to take on any more money when the impact will likely be minimal. Basically, "if we're going to pay someone to improve wide receiver, let's make it a clear improvement."
Remember that Hardman was often the recipient of scripted plays and the Chiefs have those guys. It's not as if Hardman is the volume target the Chiefs could use. If something happens to Kelce, it's not as Hardman is going to be the guy who steps up and makes defenses pay.
It's also important to note that it's not as if the Jets are the NFL's deepest offense. Why would they pay for a guy like Hardman only to not use him? Is Hardman a different player on the other side of his abdomen injury?
Finally it's also important to discuss here that the Chiefs carried 7 wide receivers into this season and almost all of them were young and/or inexperienced and faced a learning curve of some sort for the Chiefs this season. The season is only five games old and the Chiefs could easily be 5-0 so far. Do they really need to admit defeat on such a developmental squad and deal for a familiar face? Is it too early for such a move?
Let us know what you think in the comments. Do you want the see the Chiefs bring back Hardman?