The Jets signed Mecole Hardman a week into 2023 free agency, suggesting a sizable role for the former Chiefs wide receiver. Five weeks into the season, however, the speedster has managed just a single touch. And now New York is exploring options for Hardman, according to ESPN, including a trade to a new team ahead of the Oct. 31 in-season deadline.

Since quarterback Aaron Rodgers' Week 1 Achilles injury, only two Jets receivers have garnered at least 10 pass targets from replacement Zach Wilson: No. 1 wideout Garrett Wilson (43) and ex-Packers starter Allen Lazard (20). That's left Hardman out of the offensive picture, even after the offseason departures of both Corey Davis and Elijah Moore, with three different running backs and three different tight ends drawing more looks in coordinator Nathaniel Hackett's system.

Hardman, who's due just $2.3 million through 2023, topped 500 receiving yards in each of his first three seasons with Kansas City from 2019-2021. He could still have a market as a secondary speed option. Here are some potential suitors:

Bears general manager Ryan Poles, who's seemingly on the verge of dumping failed trade acquisition Chase Claypool, helped draft Hardman as the Chiefs' director of college scouting in 2019. And Chicago showed some life in a Week 5 rout of the Commanders. Why not give Justin Fields one more high-upside outlet alongside D.J. Moore?

There honestly might not be a better scenario than a reunion for both sides. The Chiefs would obviously make do without him, but Patrick Mahomes has yet to settle on a go-to guy downfield when he's not targeting Travis Kelce. And Hardman had his best run as a speedy chess piece for Andy Reid. A late-round pick swap could bring him home.

As per usual, Lamar Jackson's WRs have been battered and/or unreliable at different points in Baltimore's 3-2 start. Zay Flowers already offers big-play speed, but with Odell Beckham Jr., Rashod Bateman and Co. struggling to make a difference, they could use help. Ravens WRs coach Greg Lewis was Hardman's position coach from 2019-2020.

Rookie QB C.J. Stroud has been a pleasant surprise, keeping Houston far more competitive than expected. And Nico Collins has shined as his top target. But with speedy rookie Tank Dell now sidelined with a concussion, the Texans could afford to take a low-risk swing on more weaponry for their young signal-caller.

His size and skill set are kind of redundant to ex-Rams return specialist Brandon Powell, who made the Vikings' roster out of camp and flashed against the Chiefs in Week 5. But Hardman's track record is longer, and with Justin Jefferson sidelined for at least four weeks, Minnesota could use reinforcements opposite Jordan Addison out wide.