Chiefs bracing to lose one of Patrick Mahomes favorite targets

The Kansas City Chiefs could lose one of Patrick Mahomes favorite targets, as wide receiver Mecole Hardman might be out of their price range.

It’s looking more likely by the day that Kansas City general manager Brett Veach will have to choose between JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman.

Smith-Schuster had a solid bounceback season after signing a prove-it deal to play with Patrick Mahomes and Co. That contract worked out well for the Smith-Schuster and the Chiefs, as JuJu registered north of 900 yards receiving and paired well with Travis Kelce and a well-rounded corps of weapons around their star quarterback.

Hardman, meanwhile, had an injury-plagued season, but the former Georgia Bulldogs star is talented and multifaceted, as he can factor into special teams as well.

Which should the Chiefs sign this free agency?

Smith-Schuster’s market value, per Spotrac, is around a four-year, $58.6 million deal. That’s over $14.6 million per season. Hardman, meanwhile, would cost around $10 million per season on a multiyear deal.

Can the Kansas City Chiefs re-sign Mecole Hardman?

Per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Mecole Hardman’s market is greater than the Chiefs expected, meaning they’ll likely have to ante up should they wish to keep the speedster.

Much of the reason KC must brace to lose some key players is because they won the Super Bowl — such players are often overvalued on the open market. It also doesn’t help that the Chiefs would rather keep players like Smith-Schuster and Orlando Brown around. Juan Thornhill is also a free agent who should likely to leave, so it’s safe to say Veach has plenty to focus on this early in free agency.

Hardman had just 25 catches for 297 yards and four touchdowns last year. Injuries forced him out of several key games. It’s tough to justify spending over $10 million on that.

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