Mecole Hardman twists the dagger into Jets fans with Super Bowl heroics

NY Jets, Mecole Hardman
NY Jets, Mecole Hardman / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

When the NY Jets traded Mecole Hardman back to the Kansas City Chiefs in October, the former Pro Bowler was certainly hoping he'd be able to secure his third Super Bowl ring as a member of the organization.

Hardman didn't exactly play a huge role in the Chiefs' return trip to the Super Bowl, but he saved the best for last, hauling in what will likely go down as one of the most important and memorable catches in NFL history.

With mere seconds remaining in overtime and his team trailing 22-19, Hardman hauled in a three-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes to win the game for his team.

The Jets were well-represented by former players in the Super Bowl, but it was Hardman who stole the show. The former Jets wide receiver finished the game with three catches for 57 yards and, of course, the game-winning touchdown.

NY Jets fans saw Mecole Hardman hoist his third Super Bowl ring

The Jets signed Hardman to a one-year, $4 million contract in the spring with the promise of an expanded role. Hardman had played over 50 percent of snaps for the defending Super Bowl champs the year prior, but the Jets believed he would be an important piece in their offense.

Evidently, plans changed. Hardman quickly fell out of favor with the Jets' coaching staff, and the loss of Aaron Rodgers altered the team's offensive plans. Hardman played just 28 offensive snaps before he was shipped to the Chiefs in a swap of future late-round draft picks.

The Jets' wide receiver room was among the worst in football this past season, and while Hardman didn't do much during his time with the team, it's worth wondering how they didn't find a role for him in the offense.

Hardman won't complain, however. He went from a playoff-less Jets team to a three-time Super Bowl champion with a legacy that can now never be touched.