Jets GM Joe Douglas responds to WR Mecole Hardman's comments: 'It just didn't work out'

Mecole Hardman had a lot to say Tuesday about the New York Jets' lack of direction on offense or winning culture.

On Wednesday, Jets general manager Joe Douglas briefly addressed the remarks of the former Jets wide receiver when he took the podium at the NFL scouting combine.

"I'll just say those comments definitely resonated with us," Douglas said.

Douglas, however, refused to get into the weeds of Hardman's criticisms and instead chose a diplomatic response when media members pressed him. Hardman signed a one-year, $4.5 million contract to join New York last offseason but played in only five games with no starts before being traded to the Kansas City Chiefs.

"I'll just say, look, we were excited to sign Mecole," Douglas said. "He was excited to obviously join our team. Xavier Gipson really came on for us this year, and he did an outstanding job for us. So, ultimately, we made a decision to move on from Mecole, but our process of adding Mecole, he was excited to be here, and it just didn't work out. And a lot of that has to do with Xavier."

New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas responded to comments made by former Jets receiver Mecole Hardman. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

In short, Hardman, who caught the winning touchdown for the Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII following his midseason trade, said the Jets coaching staff lied to him and there was no meritocracy and no plan in place when Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers went down in the season opener.

All of this rubbed Hardman, who is now a three-time Super Bowl champion, the wrong way and caused him to mentally check out before the Jets dealt him back to Kansas City.

"I'm telling you right now: I was so checked out, like, it was over with. I had already talked to [Chiefs GM Brett] Veach and Pat [Mahomes], like, 'Come get me,'" Hardman said on "The Pivot."

To be clear, if that was the case, it could be considered tampering, as opposing teams aren't allowed to make contact with players or coaches. In light of that, Hardman went on X, formerly Twitter, to clarify his remarks.

"Never had talks with KC before the trade, so we can CLEAR THAT UP!" Hardman said. "The Jets handled my trade on their own and did the right thing by sending me back to KC!"

While Douglas refrained from responding any further to Hardman's comments, Jets punter Thomas Morstead appeared to subtweet Hardman on X.

"Be careful getting information from disgruntled former employees," Morstead said. "Getting beat out by a rookie free agent after being guaranteed millions of dollars is tough to deal with. Entitlement is a killer of opportunity. You have to earn it every year."

Either way, having played a big role in winning the Super Bowl likely eases any bad feelings for Hardman at this point.