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Jets trading WR Mecole Hardman to Chiefs

Mecole Hardman's stay with the Jets never left the gate. Now, he's headed back to the familiar skies of Kansas City.

The Jets are trading Hardman to the Chiefs, NFL Network's James Palmer reported Wednesday, per a source.

ESPN first reported the news.

Hardman began his career in Kansas City, where he caught 151 passes for 2,088 yards and 16 touchdowns over four seasons and was part of Super Bowl-winning teams in 2019 and 2022, providing a speedy element alongside Tyreek Hill (prior to his 2022 departure for Miami). Changes to the Chiefs' receiving corps this offseason followed Kansas City's Super Bowl LVII triumph, including the decision to not re-sign Hardman, who eventually made his way to the East Coast, signing with the Jets in March.

Hardman was supposed to provide the Jets with the same speed threat and catch-and-run ability he'd once given the Chiefs. Instead, he became irrelevant, falling out of favor and recording just one catch for six yards in five games, leading the Jets to trade him without so much as a second thought.

Kansas City will welcome Hardman back into the fold as a known and trusted option for Patrick Mahomes, who is playing quality football through six weeks but has struggled to find the explosive plays for which the Chiefs are known while working with a pass-catching corps filled with youngsters (and Travis Kelce). We'll see how quickly he can make an impact with his old -- and once again current -- squad.

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