A grueling 2023 NFL season ends on Sunday when the Kansas City Chiefs go toe-to-toe with the San Francisco 49ers at Super Bowl LVIII. Patrick Mahomes & Co. have a lot to prove this weekend as the Chiefs are projected to be underdogs by the majority of sportsbooks.
If the Chiefs want to prove their doubters wrong, everyone must do their part this Sunday. It's crucual for certain players to step up not only for the team's benefit but also if those individuals want to keep their jobs going forward — both in Kansas City and the NFL, in general.
Here are five Chiefs who are playing for their jobs in the Super Bowl this weekend.
1. WR Mecole Hardman
Mecole Hardman's career has been quite the rollercoaster. There was a lot of hype surrounding the ex-Georgia wide receiver when he was drafted 56th overall in 2019. He was just coming off back-to-back second-team All-SEC campaigns and many thought that his blistering speed combined with Mahomes' arm would turn him into a major threat for years to come.
Hardman spent his first four seasons in Kansas City and even won two Super Bowl rings, but consistently left Chiefs fans wanting more. Even though he showed flashes of potential here and there, he'd often disappear from the stat sheet for weeks at a team, playing a role in why he's failed to crack the 700-yard mark.
Hardman signed with the New York Jets last March but was traded back to the Chiefs in October in exchange for a 2025 seventh-rounder. Unfortunately, he's barely made an impact since his return, yielding one catch on three targets for six yards before hauling in another two receptions for five yards in the playoffs.
Hardman is still young (25) and the speed is still here, but the fact that he hasn't made many major improvements over five seasons is concerning. Unless he balls out in Vegas, his future with the Chiefs will be up in the air.
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