The Giants are already moving on from Kadarius Toney. Despite choosing the shifty wide receiver in the 2021 first round, the Giants are trading him to the Chiefs, NFL reporter Jordan Schultz tweets.
Kansas City is sending a compensatory third-round choice and a sixth-rounder to New York for Toney, who has again battled injuries this season. While Toney has shown promise when available, injuries have largely prevented him from playing as a pro. The Giants will receive the third-round pick the Chiefs obtained for the Bears’ Ryan Poles GM hire, according to SI.com’s Albert Breer (on Twitter). Both the third- and sixth-round picks going to the Giants will be 2023 choices, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.
Toney trade rumors emerged briefly this offseason, but the Giants shut them down. At the time, Big Blue’s new regime was keen on seeing how Toney looked in an offense that also housed Saquon Barkley. While Barkley has returned to top form, Toney has tumbled out of the starting blocks. Injuries to both hamstrings have plagued Toney this season — one featuring just 35 offensive snaps — and a Joe Schoen–Brian Daboll regime that did not draft him will cut bait.
Quadriceps and oblique injuries sidelined the Florida alum for seven combined games last season — one that did include a Toney game at Arrowhead Stadium — and an ankle malady forced him out of another game. Toney missed much of last year’s training camp with a hamstring injury and underwent a knee scope this offseason. The Chiefs are taking a gamble here, but the 6-foot wideout has flashed high-end athleticism during his brief cameo as a healthy receiver.
Toney caught 39 passes for 420 yards last year, showing rapid-fire run-after-catch ability. He made a big impact in the Giants’ upset win over the Saints — a six-catch, 89-yard performance — and dizzied the Cowboys for 10 receptions and 189 yards the following week. Illustrating Toney’s boom-or-bust career thus far, that game also included Toney throwing a punch at then-Cowboys safety Damontae Kazee. Toney was also tossed from a Giants practice for throwing a punch last year.
At Florida, Toney zoomed onto the first-round radar with a 70-catch, 984-yard, 10-touchdown senior season alongside Kyle Pitts. Prior to that season, however, the 2021 Giants investment did not surpass 300 yards in a college campaign. The Chiefs do not have much of a sample size to go on here, but they have turned to a Giants first-rounder in the recent past. The Giants cut 2019 Round 1 cornerback Deandre Baker, after an offseason arrest, and the Chiefs ended up adding him. The Chiefs are obviously aiming higher with Toney, as Baker did not make a big impact during his time in Missouri.
Toney, 23, is signed through the 2024 season and can be kept on his rookie deal through 2025 via the fifth-year option, though we are obviously a long way away from Toney being option-worthy. The Giants will save $1.2MM against the cap by making this move, which comes after the Chiefs created a bit of cap space by restructuring Travis Kelce‘s contract for the second time in 2022. Kansas City still has a third-rounder in next year’s draft, along with two fourths. Over the long haul, however, the Giants will avoid $5MM-plus in Toney salary payments.
Toney, who has not played since Week 2, will have a bit more time to acclimate in Andy Reid‘s offense. The Chiefs are in their bye week. Kansas City traded Tyreek Hill this offseason, leading to an overhaul of its receiving corps. Free agency additions JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling lead the Chiefs’ attack, and each is coming off 100-yard games in San Francisco. The Chiefs also roster Mecole Hardman, who is in a contract year, and drafted Skyy Moore in this year’s second round. Moore has struggled early in his rookie campaign, and the Chiefs have been linked to both Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandin Cooks ahead of the deadline. This Toney trade could take K.C. out of the OBJ sweepstakes, as it profiles somewhere between a flier and a blockbuster move due to the compensation involved.
The Giants, who had hoped to draft DeVonta Smith instead of Toney in 2021, entered the offseason with a crowded receiver room. But that group has not played together much. Massive free agency disappointment Kenny Golladay is still out with an MCL sprain. Giants hopes at trading the ex-Lions Pro Bowler have run into expected contractually based obstacles. The team also lost its longest-tenured wideout, Sterling Shepard, for the season.
Moving forward, Big Blue has Darius Slayton and Wan’Dale Robinson in place as its top targets. Slayton rising to such a perch is interesting, given his recent place on the trade block after an offseason that saw his stock drop to the point he accepted a pay cut. But this trade figures to make the contract-year wideout a more important piece while making wide receiver a major Giants need in 2023.