Chiefs' Mecole Hardman rips Jets while reflecting on turbulent tenure: 'No standard there'

Kansas City Chiefs receiver Mecole Hardman ended last season with the game-winning touchdown in overtime of Super Bowl 58, but he started the 2023 season with a turbulent stint with the New York Jets.

"There's no standard there," Hardman said about the Jets during an appearance on "The Pivot" podcast.

Hardman signed with the Jets in March 2023, but only had one reception for 6 yards through five games. In October, he was traded back to the Chiefs, where he spent the first four years of his career and won two Super Bowls (2019, 2022) before hoisting another Lombardi Trophy earlier this month. Hardman is now set to be a free agent and said he's prioritizing finding a team where he "can consistently be on the field" over a big payday, a lesson he said he learned after his time with the Jets.

"Going to the Jets, I saw that other side of somewhere you don't want to be at," he said. "Don't look for that money. Go somewhere that's established. ... You know that they have a system in place and a standard."

Mecole Hardman: Jets 'don't know what to do'

Hardman said the Jets' offense, led by first-year offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, had no real plan after quarterback Aaron Rodgers went down with a torn Achilles in the team's season opener. Hardman added that "there's not an established coaching staff there."

"You just got a new (offensive) coaching staff that came in and there's no standard there," he said. "Everybody does what they want to do. Granted, the defense has more of a stabilized standard with the coaching staff on that side, so the defense has a standard. But the offense is just like, 'We'll just figure it out. It's Aaron's show. Let Aaron (Rodgers) do what Aaron does.' Then when Aaron goes down, it's like we don't know what to do."

Hardman said he was benched – "I don't understand why I'm not in the rotation ... and y'all never gave me a reason as to why either" – and the Jets never tapped into his championship experience.

“Y’all can’t tell me about winning. I’ve been to four Super Bowls in five years now," he said. "I know what winning looks like. I know what winning is … y'all not doing it right. We got helmets on the ground, we don’t got no discipline. … It’s too many individual egos in this locker room. … That’s not gonna get y'all to win.”

Hardman said his disagreements with how he was handled led to him mentally checking out: "I was so checked out, like, it was over with. I had already talked to (Chiefs general manager Brett) Veach and Pat (Mahomes), like, ‘Come get me.’"

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Chiefs' Mecole Hardman slams Jets while reflecting on turbulent tenure