Wide receiver Kadarius Toney was not a fit for the New York Giants and was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs last week for a pair of 2023 draft picks.
The 20th overall selection in the 2021 NFL draft had been a consistent name on the Giants’ injury report and stared just five games in his short career in East Rutherford.
What the Chiefs are hoping for is to catch lightning in a bottle with Toney, an explosive player they believe can help recapture some of the big play potential they lost when they traded Tyreek Hill to Miami this past offseason.
But head coach Andy Reid has been around the block too many times to corner himself with any predictions.
“We’ve got one football, and we’ve a few guys that we’d like to get the ball to,” Reid said this week, via the New York Post. “We’ll see how he fits in. I’m not expecting him to learn the whole offense in a day. I think it’ll be a gradual process going forward even though he is a smart kid. I’m sure he’ll pick it up relatively fast.”
Toney was sidelined with a hamstring injury, the latest malady that was keeping him off the field, but he is claiming he is healthy now. Reid will be the judge of that.
“I’m not going to rush him into something that he’s not comfortable with,” Reid said, “or I’m not comfortable with.”
The fact is, Toney came into the league with the label of a ‘gadget’ player and was not a traditional wide receiver. Two Giant coaching staffs couldn’t figure out how to use him, including the current one which has a Reid acolyte (offensive coordinator Mike Kafka) calling the shots.
A lesson to be learned here is that Giants first-year general manager Joe Schoen is not afraid to cut his losses quickly.
Looking back on how Toney got to New York is maddening to Giants fans. Holding the 11th overall pick, they traded back with Chicago to No. 20 when they were outmaneuvered by a trade between two division rivals — Dallas and Philadelphia.
The Giants wanted Alabama wideout DeVonta Smith but the Eagles and Cowboys flipped picks and Philly jumped ahead of the Giants to snag Smith at No. 10.
The Giants could’ve taken Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons at No. 11 but chose to take Chicago’s offer to move back and gain more draft capital. The Bears chose Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields and Dallas, selecting 12th, took Parsons.
By the time the Giants’ turn came to select at No. 20, they reached for the raw ability of Toney, who was considered a Day 2 pick at best. Now, they are retracing their steps.
This may not be a bad thing, however. The Giants ended up with two starters (Evan Neal, Daniel Bellinger) with the picks they got from Chicago and now have two others (a third and sixth next year) they can either execute themselves or use as trade bait.