Mecole Hardman goes from Jets castoff to Super Bowl 2024 hero with winning Chiefs touchdown

LAS VEGAS — Mecole Hardman began the season dreaming about winning a Super Bowl with the Jets. He ended it actually winning it with the Chiefs.

Hardman caught a 3-yard game-winning touchdown in overtime to give the Chiefs a thrilling 25-22 victory over the 49ers on Sunday night.

It was an amazing ending to a season Hardman described as a “roller coaster” this past week. The Jets signed him to a $4 million contract last offseason but then barely used him before trading him to the Chiefs in October.

“It was a roller coaster,” Hardman said during the week. “Things definitely didn’t go like I wanted it to go. I guess I just wasn’t on the same page with everybody. There’s no bad blood over there. I’m happy for everybody over there. I’m still cool with some of those guys. I wish them the best. I think things happened like it was supposed to.”

Hardman had three catches for 57 yards and the touchdown to win the game Sunday night. He had a 52-yard catch earlier in the game.

Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman catches the game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl 2024. REUTERS
Patrick Mahomes (15) hugs Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman (12) after winning Super Bowl 2024. REUTERS

The Chiefs marched down the field in overtime after the 49ers kicked a field goal to take a 22-19 lead. A Mahomes scramble for 19 yards got the Chiefs into scoring position. Travis Kelce then rumbled 7 yards to put the ball on the 3-yard line.

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That is when Mahomes rolled to his right and threw to Hardman in the front of the end zone to set off the celebration of back-to-back titles for the Chiefs.

The Jets talked about having a big role for Hardman when they signed him, but he only played 28 snaps in five games and was inactive for another game with them.

Mecole Hardman began the season with the Jets. Bill Kostroun for the NY Post

“It was a little bit confusing,” Hardman said during the week. “I just really didn’t know what was the thing. Obviously, they probably saw something different than I saw.”

The Jets traded Hardman back to Kansas City, where he had spent the previous four seasons, in October along with a 2025 seventh-round pick in exchange for a 2025 sixth-round pick. That trade worked out for the Chiefs on Sunday night.

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