The signing of Mecole Hardman made all the sense in the world for the NY Jets. In need of a speed threat after trading away Elijah Moore right afterward, Hardman's status as one of the fastest players in the league would give Nathaniel Hackett a deep threat defenses could respect.
After a solid, if potentially disappointing, time with the Kansas City Chiefs came to an end due to some injuries, Hardman joined the Jets on a one-year deal. With the promise of playing with Aaron Rodgers in what was deemed an expanded role, Hardman was thrilled to come to New York.
Unfortunately, neither of those two things have happened. Rodgers was lost for the season with an Achilles injury, and Hardman has barely gotten on the field for the Jets. After an invisible showing against the Bills and a garbage time showing against the Cowboys, Hardman wants answers on his lack of playing time.
While Hardman did say that he is ready to work hard in whatever role the Jets have for him, he called the lack of touches "very surprising." One would think the retirement of Corey Davis would mean more touches for Hardman, but that dream was killed very quickly.
NY Jets WR Mecole Hardman needs more snaps.
Hardman has been stuck behind Randall Cobb, who has an astounding two targets and zero receptions, on the depth chart. While the downgrade from Rodgers to Zach Wilson is to blame, Hackett's odd personnel usage doesn't make much sense either.
The Jets aren't trying to lean on Wilson's arm to win games, but they won't get anywhere playing an ultra-conservative style with no field stretchers. Garrett Wilson being relegated to slant routes and Hardman rooted to the bench is taking some of the spark out of this team.
The Jets without Hardman not only lack a field stretcher who can take advantage of Wilson's arm, but they have no east-west element that makes the opposing defense the whole field. The offense is playing poorly, so why not at least give Hardman a shot to make an impact for Wilson?
Hardman has his faults, and his limitations as a receiver are fairly obvious, but Hackett and the rest of the Jets can't claim to have earnestly done a good job of building an offensive gameplan if they roll out the same old formations and plays with Hardman doing more sideline pacing than playing.