The majority of available game-changing receivers have already signed elsewhere in unrestricted free agency. One of the most dynamic playmakers that’s still on the market is Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman.
An abdomen injury limited Hardman to eight regular-season appearances in 2022. After enjoying a career-best season in 2021, Hardman was held to 25 receptions for 297 yards and four touchdowns last season. Hardman could be available on a one-year prove-it deal as a result. We’ve identified three potential landing spots for Mecole Hardman in the second wave of free agency.
The Titans have filled some holes in free agency, but they’ve yet to sign a single receiver. New general manager Ran Carthon released veteran Robert Woods, who then signed with their AFC South rival Houston Texans. Carthon re-signed Nick Westbrook-Ikhine to a one-year contract worth a little more than the veteran minimum. As things stand, Westbrook-Ikhine makes up an insufficient trio of receivers alongside the inexperienced Treylon Burks and Kyle Philips.
Carthon will almost certainly draft a receiver or two, but a tenured presence is also required to spearhead the position room. Head coach Mike Vrabel has discussed the need to add more speed and playmaking ability to his offense. Hardman meets Vrabel’s requirements.
New assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy joined the Washington Commanders from the Chiefs in a play-calling role. Bieniemy’s influence has been immediately felt in Washington. General manager Martin Mayhew already signed former Chiefs right tackle Andrew Wylie to a three-year contract. Hardman is another former Chief that could follow Bieniemy to Washington.
Hardman would add excellent depth to a receiver room that features Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson at the top. Putting both Hardman and Curtis Samuel on the field would make Washington’s offense quite unpredictable. The Commanders don’t need to sign Hardman, but Bieniemy would appreciate an opportunity to work with more familiar faces as he continues acclimating to his new destination. Bieniemy is the perfect candidate to place all of Washington’s offensive weapons in advantageous positions.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst is still equipped with $24.5 million in cap space, which is the third-most around the league, per Spotrac. Gutekunst has signed two free agents from other franchises so far. Gutekunst added veteran safety Tarvarius Moore to a one-year deal worth a tad more than the vet minimum. The second signing was long-snapper Matthew Orzech. Gutekunst needs to start adding more legitimate contributors.
The Packers are preparing to trade Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets. The delay in negotiations is potentially preventing Gutekunst from making other moves. Jordan Love is going to take over at quarterback. The Packers must invest in Love’s success. Allen Lazard signed with the Jets. As of now, Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs are Green Bay’s starting receivers. More is needed. Hardman is a dangerous weapon near the line of scrimmage. His ability to create post-catch would help Love.
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