Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman is expected to remain in Kansas City and negotiate a new contract with the team in 2023.
If an NFL wide receiver wants to negotiate for an optimal contract, there are a few ways to go about it.
The wideout could push for the biggest possible contract, which could potentially upend the organization and prompt the receiver to leave their team. That is, after all, what happened with former Kansas City Chiefs weapon Tyreek Hill, who pushed for a lucrative trade to the Miami Dolphins.
Of course, for receivers flying a bit more under the radar, waiting to negotiate for a new contract could prove more beneficial. According to Chiefs general manager Brett Veach, Mecole Hardman may want to wait until next year to push for a bigger paycheck.
Mecole Hardman might want to wait to negotiate for a bigger contract
“It’s a good question,” Veach told PFT’s Mike Florio regarding Hardman’s contract. “I think one of the things that makes it more difficult is just where this receiver market went. On one hand, we can sit there and come up with something that makes sense for us and him. But on the other hand, when you come off of free agency period with these numbers were so high and there’s also the mindset or thought process of the cap will only get bigger now.”
With an increased salary cap next year and another year to bolster his resume, Hardman may want to spend 2022 proving just how valuable he will be with Hill gone.
“I think it’ll probably tend to go in the direction where the agents and the players want to wait and if last year’s any indication of where this thing’s going to go, at some point it’ll kind of flatline out and things will become more balanced in regards to getting stuff done ahead of time,” Veach continued. “We’ll certainly have those type of conversations, but I think that if this offseason tipped its hand it’s more in the lines of the agent and the player just saying, ‘Well, might as well just wait.’ A lot of players benefitted from waiting and I think until that flatlines and settles down, I think there’ll be more of a desire for probably the agents more so to wait and play it out.”
Determining whether or not to wait depends on the status of the wideout and what they’ve been able to put out thus far. As is stands, Hardman has been important to the Chiefs, but not integral the way Hill was on offense. Still, Hardman saw career-highs of 59 catches and 693 receiving yards in 2021, so the absence of Hill could prove to pay off for Hardman.