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 Monday (AEDT).
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.
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“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.
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.
“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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