Chiefs To Re-Sign WR Mecole Hardman

Mecole Hardman‘s second Chiefs stint is set to continue. The veteran wideout has a new deal in place with the defending champions, per veteran NFL reporter Jordan Schultz.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero adds this will be a one-year deal. Following a lengthy stay on the open market, Hardman will avoid the opportunity to join a new team like he did last offseason. He re-joined the Chiefs in 2023 following a short-lived Jets tenure, and the relationship between team and player will now continue for at least one more year.

Hardman signed a one-year, $4MM deal with the Jets after his K.C. rookie contract expired. He was positioned to operate as one of many new faces on the team’s offense, but that unit struggled all season following Aaron Rodgers‘ Achilles tear. The 26-year-old asked to be sent back to the Chiefs, and New York obliged in October. That move set up limited production down the stretch and into the postseason (although Hardman’s lone touchdown was of course the overtime winner in Super Bowl LVIII).

Wide receiver was known to be a position of need for the Chiefs this offseason, and the team added Marquise Brown on a one-year pact. That was followed by the addition of another speedster (Xavier Worthy) in the first round of the draft. Both players could be in line for notable roles in 2024 particularly if Rashee Rice is handed a suspension to begin the campaign.

Following the draft, Kansas City made it clear no major outside additions were being contemplated, including a re-up with Hardman. The former second-rounder has nevertheless found himself back in the fold as he tries to carve out an offensive role. His best season came in 2021 (59 catches, 693 yards) and he scored at least four touchdowns during three of his four full Chiefs campaigns. Hardman could also earn playing time by reprising his role as the team’s primary returner.

Kansas City entered Thursday with over $17MM in cap space, so the team will easily be able to afford what will no doubt be a low-cost Hardman signing. The Georgia product could help his 2025 market value (either for another Chiefs pact or one from an outside team) with a strong campaign. The veteran receiver market, meanwhile, has become thinner ahead of training camp.

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