KC Chiefs: Why the Kadarius Toney trade was worth making

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - OCTOBER 03: Kadarius Toney #89 of the New York Giants runs with the ball against the New Orleans Saints during a game at the Caesars Superdome on October 03, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - OCTOBER 03: Kadarius Toney #89 of the New York Giants runs with the ball against the New Orleans Saints during a game at the Caesars Superdome on October 03, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Chiefs had everyone around the league talking last week when they traded for wide receiver Kadarius Toney.

The Kansas City Chiefs had everyone around the NFL buzzing last week after pulling off a trade with the New York Giants for wide receiver Kadarius Toney, who was a first-round pick only one year ago.

This trade is interesting for many reasons. First, the Chiefs’ trade for Toney came as a bit of a surprise as many had been calling for the team to sign free agent Odell Beckham Jr., whom the team has been linked to, or target another name or even position for that matter. Also, it’s not like wide receiver was a gaping hole on the team’s roster. Adding receiver help doesn’t hurt, but giving up a 3rd and a 6th-round pick to do so was a price too steep for some Chiefs fans to stomach.

Understandably so, as Toney’s NFL career so far has been lackluster. He’s certainly shown flashes of greatness and his ability to make people miss and get open is special. However, Toney has only played in 12 of a possible 24 games so far in his career, has struggled with injuries, and his relationship with the Giants organization was less than stellar which ultimately led to the Giants trading him.

For those reasons, some Cheifs fans are skeptical as to whether or not this was a smart move for Kansas City. It’s a fair question and Toney is largely unproven. We’ve seen the Chiefs take chances on former first-round picks all the time and usually, there’s no risk involved. In this case, however, you’re sinking a borderline premium asset into the player that may or may not pan out.

Nevertheless, I’m going to try my best in explaining why this was a smart move for the Kansas City Chiefs and why there are plenty of reasons for fans to be optimistic.

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Why KC Chiefs trading for WR Kadarius Toney is a good move

When talking about the risk versus reward for Kadarius Toney, people are having a hard time reasoning with the Chiefs giving up a 3rd round pick (and the 6th but that’s far less important). Well, let’s start by looking at general manager Brett Veach’s draft history in the 3rd round.

Brett Veach 3rd round picks:

  • 2018 – Derrick Nnadi and Dorian O’Daniel
  • 2019 – Khalen Saunders
  • 2020 – Lucas Niang
  • 2021 – None
  • 2022 – Leo Chenal

Really, there are no big hits there. Obviously, it’s early on Leo Chenal but it’s pretty evident that there is a talent drop-off after the second round in most drafts. Brett Veach himself has even said that before. Given this information, it is understandable why the Chiefs think Kadarius Toney or Toney’s ceiling is much better than whatever that future 3rd round pick was going to be. Ultimately, the 3rd round pick isn’t that big of a loss.

The other concern people have with Toney of course is that he just hasn’t done much. Toney’s career hasn’t really panned out thus far and the fact the Giants are moving on from him this early after spending such a significant asset on him is concerning for sure. However, this Giants coaching staff and front office regime were not the same ones that brought in Toney and it isn’t uncommon for talented players to fall out of favor with a new staff and succeed after going elsewhere. Add in the fact Toney hasn’t been able to stay healthy and had been playing with a subpar quarterback in Daniel Jones and it’s possible that Toney and New York just simply weren’t a good fit.

The hope here is that Toney can change his attitude in a winning culture like Kansas City and become properly utilized by Andy Reid who likely knows how to take advantage of his skillset. It’s also not unreasonable to think Patrick Mahomes can do a better job effectively getting Toney the ball and maximizing his potential. Kansas City is overall just a better situation.

The best part about this trade, though, is that Toney is a move that can help now and in the future. Toney is entering a receiver room that isn’t begging him to take anyone else’s snaps and he can ease his way into the offense while getting healthy under a Chiefs training staff that has done a great job at doing so for the last several years. Toney can be the kind of x-factor that tips the scale in a big playoff game later down the line even this year, but if not, he can step in next year when there will most likely be a spot to fill.

Sure, the Toney move is a bit of a risk, but the potential is through the roof with Toney who is now coming into an ideal situation. For the aforementioned reasons, Chiefs fans should be optimistic about Toney and the possibilities with him in this offense. He is one of the most dangerous players in the league when he gets the ball in space and Andy Reid is one of the best in the league at putting his players in those positions.

If it doesn’t work out, oh well, you didn’t end up losing that much and you at least have a young body under contract for the next three years or so (Toney has a 5th-year option). If it does work out, then it’s a great move and there’s plenty of reason to be confident that it will. In the end, it’s a smart move.

Next. Ranking every trade Veach has ever made. dark