Mecole Hardman Jr. after winning Super Bowl LVIII.

Mecole Hardman Jr. after winning Super Bowl LVIII. Credit: Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS — Super Bowl hero Mecole Hardman wanted so badly to get away from the Jets and members of their coaching staff that it could lead to the NFL investigating if there was tampering.

Appearing on Ryan’s Clark’s podcast “The Pivot,” Hardman revealed that he told Kansas City general manager Brett Veach and quarterback Patrick Mahomes “come get me” before the two teams played each other in Week 4. The Jets traded Hardman to Kansas City two weeks later.

The Jets could ask the league to look into whether there was tampering. If so, the Jets could get a draft pick out of it.

“I’ll just say those are comments that definitely resonated with us,” Jets general manager Joe Douglas said Wednesday.

After the clip aired on social media, Hardman tweeted that he “never had talks with KC before the trade, so we can CLEAR THAT UP. The Jets handled my trade on their own and did the right thing by sending me back to KC!”

Hardman specifically called out special teams coordinator Brant Boyer and criticized offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett for not adjusting after Aaron Rodgers tore his left Achilles tendon four snaps into the season.

According to Hardman, Boyer “misled” him about the starting returner job that eventually went to undrafted rookie Xavier Gipson. Hardman said Gipson couldn’t return punts in the Kansas City game due to an injury and Boyer never spoke to him until right beforehand. Hardman refused to return punts.

“No, I am not returning punts for you, bro,” Hardman said. “Why would I want to return punts for you?”

Hardman said coach Robert Saleh came to him and asked him to do it for the team. Hardman again said no.

“I was so checked out,” Hardman said, “like, it was over with.”

Hardman, who caught the winning touchdown in overtime for Kansas City in Super Bowl LVIII earlier this month, also said, “[Rodgers] is the offense. When he got hurt, Hackett didn’t tailor the offense to fit Zach Wilson."

“You put a lot of pressure on Zach Wilson to try to carry that role, rather than making the offense to where he's at his best,” Hardman said. "They didn't do that.”

Hardman said the Jets never set a standard on offense the way they have on defense.

“You just got a new [offensive] coaching staff that came in and there’s no standard there,” Hardman said. “Everybody does what they want to do. … The offense is just like, 'We’ll just figure it out. It’s Aaron’s show. Let Aaron do what Aaron does.' Then when Aaron goes down, it’s like we don’t know what to do.”

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