Robert Saleh Breaks Silence on Jets-Chiefs Trade, Mecole Hardman Responds

Robert Saleh Breaks Silence on Jets-Chiefs Trade, Mecole Hardman Responds

Coach Robert Saleh has finally broken his silence on the trade of Mecole Hardman between the New York Jets and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Gang Green first had Saleh available on Monday, October 23, as it was the week the deal was completed. Saleh explained to the media that the “main reason” Hardman lost playing time and ultimately his job in New York was the emergence of free agent Xavier Gipson.

“He (Gipson) is a big reason, obviously he’s a big reason,” Saleh said.
“Mekole has been fantastic, a good young man and very positive in the locker room and everywhere.
He’s battled through injuries and battled to get back up to speed in OTAs and training camp.
Meanwhile, he tried to pick up the pace again.
Here’s something you don’t expect from him, but I think this guy is really good in OTAs. And in training camp, I thought this guy was really, really good.
So this is just an opportunity to develop the youth and not against Mekol.
It’s sad, but I’m happy for him and his opportunity.
I thought he did a really good job coming back yesterday.
Xavier Gipson link.
Because Mecole is still recovering from his injury, he was able to do some reps.
So I’m getting through my injury and doing really well.

Jets HC Robert Saleh said he loves WR Mecole Hardman ( @MecoleHardman4 ) after he was traded to the #Chiefs , but the “main reason” he left was the emergence of UDFA Xavier Gipson behind Russell Wilson.

Shortly after Saleh made his comments on stage, Hardman responded to X on Twitter.

In response to Saleh’s comment, Hardman posted “hmm” along with three blank emojis.
Days before the deal closed, Hardman posted a cryptic response on social media.

“I can’t wait until I get a chance to say everything I really want to say and it has nothing to do with my current situation.”

I look forward to the opportunity to say everything I really want to say and it has nothing to do with my current situation.

Turns out there’s more to the Hardman-Jets story.

Hardman doesn’t seem to agree with Saleh’s assessment of what went wrong in New York.
Gipson’s emergence took the special teams role away from Hardman, who was naturally the top returner.
But the emergence of Gipson does not explain Hardman’s lack of attacking moments.
The undrafted free agent played just 11 percent of the first six games of the season.
Gipson has one catch for 4 yards.
Hardman, on the other hand, made 10 percent of the offense during that same time period for the Jets.

The real culprit behind Hardman’s inexplicable absence from the offense is veteran wide receiver Randall Cobb.
Cobb appeared in 49% of the offense.

Aaron Rodgers’ BFF is “the least productive receiver in the NFL this season, running at least 100 routes,” according to The Athletic’s Zach Rosenblatt.
Hardman has every reason to be upset that an older man has passed him on the depth chart.
Especially considering how poorly he performed this season.

However, Rosenblatt also explained that Hardman had difficulty adjusting to playing alongside Aaron Rodgers and was “learning the complex hand-signal system.” In addition, Hardman “had no communication with the coaching staff,” which made the problem worse.
Good news for the Jets soon

Eventually the plane moved and Hardman had to do the same.

Next, the Jets appear to be making changes to their depth chart.
Rosenblatt said the coaching staff is “very excited” to give Gibson a “big role” in the offense.

We haven’t used him offensively in the first half of the season, but that may change after this week.
Rosenblatt said the plan is to play Gipson “a lot” and that it will “probably” come at the expense of Cobb.

A lot of what a veteran adds to the team could still happen, but it would happen off the bench rather than in the starting lineup.


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