According to Over The Cap compensatory pick expert Nick Korte, the Chiefs are projected to receive a single comp pick in the 2024 NFL draft. However, they could have been projected to receive another pick.
Right now, the Chiefs are projected to receive a fifth-round comp pick for the Washington Commanders signing of compensatory free agent Andrew Wylie. They could have received another fifth compensatory pick for the Patriots signing JuJu Smith-Schuster, but the fact of trading to acquire Hardman takes that pick off the board.
Here’s the explanation from Korte: “There was also an instance of a CFA being traded, and in this case, a player went back to the team that he left in free agency.”
“After leaving Kansas City for the New York Jets, Mecole Hardman was traded back to the Chiefs in the middle of the season. This should cause Hardman to cancel himself out in the Chiefs’ cancellation chart, and leave them with one fewer comp pick than anticipated–in this case a 5th rounder for JuJu Smith-Schuster leaving for Foxboro.”
Korte also notes that Charles Omenihu’s suspension could help or hurt Kansas City’s chances of receiving a higher fifth-round compensatory pick.
“Charles Omenihu will also be a player that could affect the Chiefs’ projected comp pick, as well as one for the 49ers.”
“His six game suspension for violation of the personal conduct policy regarding domestic violence limited the snaps he could play, and has placed his contract on the 5th/6th round bubble. This projection has his contract in the 6th round.
“But if it falls in the 5th instead, San Francisco will get a 5th for his departure instead of a 6th for Jimmie Ward going to Houston, while Kansas City will still get a 5th but it will be a few picks lower, with the compensated player being Smith-Schuster instead of Andrew Wylie.”
The Hardman trade hasn’t exactly been a home run for Kansas City. He spent a portion of the season on injured reserve after a thumb injury he sustained required surgery.
He hasn’t regained much of the chemistry he previously had with Patrick Mahomes, catching just 14 passes for 118 yards so far this season.
In the divisional round tilt with the Bills on Sunday, he became the fourth player in NFL history with just two touches and two fumbles in a playoff game. With only the AFC Championship Game and a potential appearance in Super Bowl LVIII remaining, the Chiefs are running out of runway to make this trade look worthwhile.
Right now, it appears to have cost Kansas City valuable draft capital for little tangible return.