The Kansas City Chiefs now look destined to lose two of their key offensive players within the next few days just a year after Patrick Mahomes already lost his No.1 target.
This time last summer, the Chiefs shocked the NFL world when they made the decision to trade away Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins for draft picks, which they used to bolster their defence. It was a decision that ultimately helped lead them to another Super Bowl championship.But in losing Hill, the Chiefs lost their speedy, deep-threat receiver – which is a crucial position in their offense and certain formations in order to stretch the field – ultimately helping superstar tight end Travis Kelce.
And while Hardman is certainly not a like-for-like replacement for Hill, he did will in filling in the roll of deep-threat receiver and had been a vital cog in the offense – leading all wide receivers in touchdowns for the season.
But Hardman is a free-agent this summer and the Chiefs are ‘bracing to lose’ him when he hits the market, as ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler has reported.
Hardman is reportedly seen as one of the best speed receivers in the league and could garner a big contract in a weak free agency class this year. And it’s not just him who Mahomes is likely to lose, but also his former first-round running back, Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
Much had been expected from the former LSU man when the Chiefs selected him in the first-round of the 2020 draft. On the whole, Edwards-Helaire has had his moments, although he has failed to nail down the starting role – losing it to Isiah Pacheco last season.
But for Mahomes, Edwards-Helaire has been an important player, being a capable blocker and a solid passing option when the quarterback is under duress.
He has scored 18 touchdowns in the last three years for the Chiefs, but now is likely to be traded, with Fowler also reporting that several teams have shown interest in acquiring him this off-season.
The free agency period is set to get underway next Monday, with teams allowed to speak to free agents for two days before being able to sign them on Wednesday (March 15).The biggest names to hit the free agency market will be Lamar Jackson, Geno Smith, Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley and Jimmy Garoppolo.