NFL Could Launch Investigation Into Chiefs Following WR Tell-All

The Kansas City Chiefs may face consequences following a revealing comment made by wide receiver Mecole Hardman during a podcast.

Mecole Hardman, the wide receiver for the Kansas City Chiefs, may have unknowingly landed his team in hot water with the NFL.

In a recent interview with The Pivot Podcast, Hardman discussed various topics including the 2024 Super Bowl and his pelvic injury. However, it was his short stint with the New York Jets that captured the most attention. The interview premiered on February 27th.

In the midst of a revealing account of the Jets, Hardman casually mentioned something that could potentially have an impact on the Chiefs.

“I have to be honest with you, I was completely disengaged. I had already spoken with Brett Veach and Pat Mahomes, telling them to come and get me, bro! I couldn’t understand what we were still discussing. I mean, seriously, what were we talking about? It was a clear message to them. Come and get me,” Hardman revealed during an interview on The Pivot Podcast. He also mentioned that he declined to return punts in Week 4 against the Chiefs because he felt that the Jets coaching staff didn’t give him enough notice.”

Later, Hardman reversed his initial statement after Jets fans and media raised concerns about potential “tampering.”

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Hardman clarified that he had never engaged in any discussions with KC prior to the trade. He emphasized that the Jets independently handled his trade and made the right decision by returning him to Kansas City.

During the NFL combine, Jets general manager Joe Douglas was asked directly if the Jets would request the NFL to investigate the “come get me” comments made by Hardman. This question arose after earlier discussions about potential tampering by the Chiefs had quieted down.

The NYJ GM responded honestly, saying, “I’ll just say those comments definitely struck a chord with us.”

Jets ESPN beat reporter Rich Cimini interpreted the answer as a “yes,” and SNY’s Connor Hughes also suggested that the NYJ could and probably will request the league to investigate this matter.

What Is the NFL’s Policy on Tampering?

An NFL tampering charge usually leads to a fine or the loss of draft capital. So, what is the official rule on tampering, and did Kansas City violate it before the Hardman trade?

According to an official communication from the NFL, tampering is defined as any action taken by one club to interfere with the employer-employee relationship of another club, or any attempt to unlawfully influence a person to join their club or the NFL.

The policy outlines the specific guidelines for trades as follows:

“According to the Anti-Tampering Policy, any club that wishes to engage in discussions with a player or their agent regarding a potential acquisition must first obtain written permission from the player’s current employer club. Failure to do so would be considered a violation of the policy.”

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New clubs should never rely on any statements made by a player or their agent regarding permission to enter into trade discussions or contract negotiations. Similarly, a letter from the player’s current club to the agent or player granting permission should not be considered reliable, as the current club can withdraw permission at any time. It is essential for the new club to obtain written permission directly from the current club to ensure the interests of both parties are protected.

If Hardman contacted the Chiefs regarding a trade without the Jets’ permission, and either Veach or Mahomes responded positively, there could be potential concerns for Kansas City. However, if Hardman’s remarks were merely meant to lighten the situation, this matter should be resolved without any consequences.

Jets Punter Appears to Call Out Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman After Podcast Comments

During this podcast interview, there were various reactions, one of which seemed to be a response from Thomas Morstead, a seasoned 15-year veteran of the NFL and a punter for the New York Jets.

“Getting information from disgruntled former employees can be misleading,” Morstead cautioned on X. “It can be challenging to accept being outperformed by a rookie free agent, especially when you were promised significant financial security. The sense of entitlement can hinder your chances of seizing opportunities. Remember, you must consistently prove your worth year after year.”

Morstead is suggesting that undrafted rookie WR/returner Xavier Gipson has managed to secure a position on both offense and special teams with the Jets, surpassing Hardman. He emphasizes the importance of earning one’s role on the team, regardless of salary, and warns against entitlement.

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Douglas and head coach Robert Saleh have previously acknowledged that Gipson’s performance compelled them to choose him over Hardman. On February 28, the Jets GM once again reiterated this as the reason for parting ways with the experienced speedster.

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