Kadarius Toney trade grades: Giants move on from former first-round pick; Chiefs take worthy gamble on wideout


Just one year — and 12 game appearances — into his Giants career, Kadarius Toney is headed elsewhere. Drafted No. 20 overall by New York in 2021, the former Florida wide receiver has been acquired by the Chiefs, as first reported by theScore and confirmed by CBS Sports NFL insider Jonathan Jones.

Toney, 23, struggled to stay on the field in his short-lived Giants career, but is now set to catch passes from Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City, relocating in exchange for 2023 third- and sixth-round draft picks, the former being a compensatory selection.

The move comes five days ahead of the Nov. 1 trade deadline, and one day after the Giants’ NFC East rival Eagles landed pass rusher Robert Quinn from the Bears. Toney has been sidelined recently with a hamstring injury, so his status for the Chiefs’ upcoming Week 9 matchup is unclear. Kansas City is on a bye this week.

A multipurpose offensive weapon coming out of college, Toney flashed big-play ability as a rookie, most notably during a 10-catch, 189-yard breakout against the Cowboys — a game from which he was ultimately ejected for throwing a punch. But he was limited to 12 games in 2021 due to an oblique injury and multiple stints on COVID reserve. This season, despite a glaring lack of competition at wide receiver under new coach Brian Daboll, he remained in the background, totaling four touches in the Giants’ first two games before hamstring issues sidelined him indefinitely.

The Chiefs invested in veteran wideouts after dealing star No. 1 Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins, and both additions — JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling — have made recent contributions in their passing game. But Mahomes has leaned mostly on tight end Travis Kelce this year, leading to speculation Kansas City might pursue WR help ahead of the trade deadline. The Chiefs will control Toney’s rights through at least the 2024 season, and possibly through 2025, thanks to the receiver’s rookie contract. 

Let’s break down the trade between the Giants and Chiefs and hand out grades.

Kansas City receives: 

New York receives:

  • 2023 third-round pick (compensatory selection)
  • 2023 sixth-round pick 

Trade grades

Chiefs: This is the definition of a boom-or-bust bet from the Chiefs, but if anyone’s positioned to get the better end of the bargain, it’s the team employing Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes, no? Toney can’t be considered a reliable prospect at this point, missing extensive time in each of his first two NFL seasons. But imagine if his speed and shiftiness can be rediscovered for games at a time; you could be looking at a difference-making weapon for a title contender. Better yet, Toney wouldn’t have to be the No. 1 everyone needed him to be in New York, as he’s best suited to complement the tough possession targets (Travis Kelce, JuJu Smith-Schuster) and downfield threats (Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Mecole Hardman) already on their roster. Grade: B

Giants: New York, it seems, was destined to part ways anyway, failing to secure Toney’s buy-in despite new coach Brian Daboll engineering a turnaround. So getting a Day 2 pick for an apparent lost cause isn’t necessarily bad. It may even end up a steal, if Toney remains a frequent absentee. Still, it’s hard to celebrate auctioning off a top-20 pick just 1.5 seasons in, no matter who’s most at fault for the failed partnership. New York still has a dire need at the position, and now it’s guaranteed not to see the full potential of a recent premium investment. Grade: C+





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