The New York Jets have reportedly added another wide receiver ahead of an expected trade to acquire Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Former Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman has reportedly agreed to terms with the Jets, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport on Wednesday (March 22).
"It’s a 1-year deal for the #Jets and Mecole Hardman, with a chance to make $6.5M, source said," Rapoport tweeted in response to Pelissero's initial tweet announcing the move.
Hardman was selected by the Chiefs at No. 58 overall in the second-round of the 2019 NFL Draft and was a member of the Super Bowl LIV and LVII teams, as well as a second-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection in 2019. The former University of Georgia standout has 151 receptions for 2,088 yards, 1,482 return yards, 125 rushing yards and 20 total touchdowns during his four-year NFL career.
New York had already signed Rodgers' former Packers teammate Allen Lazard -- the team's leading wide receiver in 2022 -- amid reports of being the favorite to land the quarterback, with Rodgers later publicly announcing his intention to play for the Jets next season.
The team is also reported to be interested in signing free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who spent his first five seasons with the New York Giants, the Jets' co-MetLife Stadium co-tenants.
On Monday (March 20), NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said a trade centered around Rodgers may not be completed until the first day of the 2023 NFL Draft on April 27 during an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show.
"I'm trying to look at where this goes and, you know, deadlines are always what drives these things. There is a real possibility this rolls right up to the draft cause that's the only deadline. It's about the 2023 draft picks and when you actually have to use them is the deadline," Rapoport said.
Rapoport said the two sides are likely continuing to discuss the compensation involved but he, personally, cannot confirm which side has the leverage with Rodgers publicly announcing his intention to play for the Jets next season and the Packers previously acknowledging their plan to move on to former first-round pick Jordan Love at quarterback.
"I don't see any point where they would just say, 'OK, fine, we have to do this deal' until late April."
Rodgers signed a three-year, $150 million extension with the Packers last offseason amid previous reports of being disgruntled with the franchise. The 39-year-old was coming off back-to-back MVP seasons ahead of the 2022 NFL season, which resulted in Green Bay missing the playoffs after clinching a postseason berth during the previous three consecutive seasons and 11 of the past 13 years.
Rodgers leads all Packers quarterbacks with 475 touchdowns and ranks second in franchise history behind only Favre in QB wins (147), completions (5,001) and passing yards (7,660).