Chiefs re-signing Mecole Hardman, per report: Why Super Bowl hero could have tough time seeing field in 2024

The veteran wideout finds himself back with Kansas City … again

The final play of the 2023 NFL season came in February when Mecole Hardman caught the game-winning touchdown pass in Super Bowl LVIII, and it seems that won’t be the final reception he ever makes in a Chiefs uniform.

The veteran receiver will be returning to Kansas City for the 2024 season after agreeing to a one-year deal, according to NFL.com. Earlier this offseason, Hardman had said that he would be open to a return to the Chiefs if they wanted him back.

“We’ll just see if they want me back,” Hardman said in February. “If not, it might be somewhere else, so we’ll see.”

Report: Chiefs bring back Super Bowl hero Hardman on 1-year deal

Hardman actually left Kansas City last year, but that didn’t work out so well for him. The veteran receiver signed with the New York Jets during free agency in 2023, but after only catching one pass through the first five games in New York, the Jets decided they were ready to move on from him, so they traded him BACK to Kansas City in October.

Although Hardman had a mostly quiet year with the Chiefs, he came up huge in the Super Bowl with three catches for 57 yards and a touchdown. His score came on the final play of the game when Patrick Mahomes hit him for a three-yard walk-off touchdown to give the Chiefs a 25-22 win over the 49ers in overtime.

Thanks to the victory, Hardman now has three Super Bowl wins in five career seasons.

Although Hardman was a Super Bowl hero, that won’t guarantee him playing time, and it could be tough for him to see the field this year. The Chiefs added some serious depth at wide receiver this offseason: Not only did they use a first-round pick on Xavier Worthy, but they also signed Marquise Brown.

The Chiefs also have Rashee Rice, Justin Watson, Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore.

If Hardman is having trouble getting on the field as a receiver, he might be able to get a few more snaps in by playing special teams. The 26-year-old does have some experience returning kickoffs. During his rookie year, he averaged 26.1 yards on kickoff returns, which ranked fifth in the NFL for any player with 20 or more returns. He also had a 104-yard kick return TD in 2019.

Hardman also has some punt-returning experience. Not only did he pull off a 50-yard return in a game last season, but he also has a punt return touchdown in his career.

Although the Chiefs roster is overflowing with receivers, they do have at least one question mark in their receiving room right now and that comes from the Rashee Rice situation. Rice’s status for 2024 is still up in the air due to his legal issues, and there’s a chance he could be suspended to start the season.

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