NY Jets exploring a trade for the disgruntled Mecole Hardman

The Jets might trade Mecole Hardman
NY Jets, Mecole Hardman
NY Jets, Mecole Hardman / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets haven't been able to figure out a role for Mecole Hardman through the first five weeks of the season. Despite promising the former Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver a larger role this year, Hardman has been left on the bench more often than not.

Perhaps that's why it should come as no surprise that the Jets are considering trading their speedy wideout.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported Tuesday morning that the Jets are exploring their options with Hardman, and one of those options would be to trade him to a new team.

This comes two days after Hardman was rendered a healthy scratch in the Jets' 31-21 victory over the Denver Broncos in Week 5. Hardman has played just 22 offensive snaps this season — a year after playing 53 percent in Kansas City.

What could the NY Jets get in a Mecole Hardman trade?

By all accounts, it seems as though undrafted rookie Xavier Gipson essentially took Hardman's role from him this summer. Combine that with a change in offensive philosophy following the Aaron Rodgers injury, and here we are.

Hardman isn't being used, and he's not particularly happy about it. He's not causing issues necessarily, but his social media activity and comments he made to ESPN's Rich Cimini last week indicate he's not pleased with his current role. And how could he be?

This is a man who played over 50 percent of snaps in each of the last two seasons for the reigning Super Bowl champions. He was a regular part of one of the best offenses in football, but he can't even see the field for the Jets. His frustration is justified.

If the Jets do look to trade Hardman, what could they possibly get in return? The short answer is...not much.

Hardman was signed to a one-year, $4 million contract this offseason. He's a fringe WR3/WR4 with special-teams experience who would be little more than a one-year rental. The going rate for players like that isn't high.

The best the Jets can expect is a late Day 3 pick or a swap of Day 3 picks, either in 2024 or 2025. Expecting anything more for Hardman at this stage would be setting yourself up for disappointment.

Mecole Hardman deserves to have a regular role in an NFL offense. If the Jets aren't willing or interested in getting him involved, there will be other teams that are.

Don't be surprised if Hardman is moved prior to the trade deadline at the end of the month.