NY Jets could receive draft compensation after Mecole Hardman tampering admission

The Jets are looking into Hardman's comments

Mecole Hardman
Mecole Hardman / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Former NY Jets wide receiver Mecole Hardman has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons over the last few days — none of it related to his game-winning catch in overtime of this year's Super Bowl.

Hardman's recent appearance on Ryan Clark's "The Pivot" podcast sparked controversy within the Jets world, prompting numerous former teammates to publicly call out the three-time Super Bowl champion on social media.

This led to the likes of Sauce Gardner and Kenny Yeboah implying that Hardman leaked the Jets' offensive game plans in games last season, a notion that was supported by SNY's Connor Hughes later that day.

Hardman also admitted to a potential tampering violation on Clark's podcast, insisting that he had conversations with both Patrick Mahomes and Chiefs GM Brett Veach about returning to Kansas City while he was still under contract with the Jets.

While Hardman eventually walked back that statement in a post on social media, the Jets are reportedly expected to look into a potential tampering violation that could net the team draft capital.

Mecole Hardman's antics could lead to extra NY Jets draft picks

There are technically two different violations here that could lead to the Jets receiving draft picks as compensation. The first is Hardman's accidental tampering claim.

The NFL takes tampering violations very seriously, and not only could the Chiefs receive hefty fines or even lose draft capital if this is proven true, but the Jets could be in line to receive draft compensation if the violation is confirmed.

Teams whose player was tampered with are permitted to seek compensation, which could include draft picks, financial compensation, or other reparations as determined by the NFL.

The second potential violation is the suspicion that Hardman leaked game plans. Hughes reported that the Jets have "verified belief" that Hardman leaked game plans to the opposition ahead of the team's games against both the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles.

If there is actual evidence to support the Jets' claims, the league could step in and punish Hardman. The Jets would also be eligible for compensation in that scenario, quite possibly in the form of draft picks.

It's unclear how much evidence there is to support the Jets' suspicion, but it's clearly not a situation the organization is taking lightly. General manager Joe Douglas was visibly upset when speaking about Hardman's comments at the NFL Combine on Wednesday.

In a weird twist of irony, Hardman's actions and words could end up being a best-case scenario. The Jets played two of their best games of the season against the Chiefs and Eagles, despite the fact that they apparently had access to the team's game plan.

If Hardman's missteps lead to the Jets receiving draft or even financial compensation, this frustrating and bizarre situation could turn into a net gain for the organization.