Mecole Hardman hasn't been a New York Jet for months, but the wide receiver's 2023 trade-deadline departure remains a sour spot for those in New Jersey. Days after Hardman criticized the team's leadership and admitted he was "checked out" before a reunion with the Kansas City Chiefs, Jets sources both public and anonymous have alleged Hardman leaked several of the club's game plans to opposing teams during the 2023 season.

Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner was the first to accuse Hardman of the vengeful act, alluding to the wideout Wednesday in a since-deleted post to X (formerly Twitter): "We ain't gon talk about how our offensive gameplan got leaked vs. the Eagles."

New York's SNY has since reported "there was validated belief from the Jets that ... Hardman, frustrated by his lack of usage, leaked game plans to the opposition, as implied by several players. ... Not just the Eagles game, but also the Chiefs."

It's worth noting the Jets still upset the Philadelphia Eagles in their Week 6 matchup in October, though New York managed just 244 yards and went 2 of 11 on third downs in the contest. Against the Kansas City Chiefs two weeks earlier, the Jets fell 23-20 but took the eventual Super Bowl champions to the wire.

Gardner's comment came shortly after Jets punter Thomas Morstead questioned Hardman's initial criticisms of the Jets, cautioning reporters to "be careful getting information from disgruntled former employees." Morstead suggested that Hardman accusing team brass of lying about his offensive role was simply a product of "entitlement" -- and the fact he was "beat out by a rookie free agent."

Jets general manager Joe Douglas, meanwhile, has responded to Hardman's claims by doubling down on the notion the wideout "was excited to join our team" last offseason but simply lost snaps to 2023 rookie Xavier Gipson.