The 2022 NFL trade deadline is still five days away, but the deals are coming in fast and furious. The latest player swap of note is the Kadarius Toney trade that sends the former New York Giants’ talented (but oft-injured) second-year wider receiver to the Kansas City Chiefs. In return, the Giants get conditional third- and sixth-round picks from the Chiefs. The question is now, who got the better of this deal? Did the Chiefs just add the next Tyreek Hill, or did they simply add another player to their injury report? Did the Giants get draft picks for basically nothing, or did they give up on a potential star too soon? Let’s try and answer these questions while giving out the Kadarius Toney trade grades.
Chiefs’ trade grade: B+
Kadarius Toney was the No. 20 pick overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. He was the last first-round pick former general manager Dave Gettleman ever made for the team.
That’s an important detail because it’s easy to say that the Chiefs just got a former first-round pick for not a lot of draft capital, but that’s a bit of revisionist history. Toney was a borderline first-rounder, at best, coming out of Florida, and most experts noted that Gettleman reached for the pick.
That said, there is a lot of talent in Toney. When he’s at his best from a football perspective, he can do damage. In the best game of his young career, Toney recorded 10 catches for 189 yards in an NFC East grudge match vs. the Dallas Cowboys in Week 5 last season.
That’s great, but when you continue the sentence, it also reads … and he got kicked out of the game for throwing a punch with 6:24 to go in the game.
Welp, can't do that. pic.twitter.com/1JrKCTUPgl
— Joey Hayden (@_joeyhayden) October 10, 2021
And that’s Kadarius Toney in a nutshell. He’s fast. He’s talented. And, at 23, the wideout still has a boatload of untapped potential. But there’s always a “but.”
Toney can be volatile, and he is seemingly always injured. He missed seven games in his rookie season and the last five contests for the Giants this year.
The Chiefs didn’t give up a ton to get him, but a third-round pick is not nothing. It’s a lot to pay for an always-injured future draft bust. However, it’s next to nothing to pay for the next Tyreek Hill, which is who the Chiefs are hoping they got.
And because of that game-breaking potential that is still there in Toney, the Chiefs get a B+ as their Kadarius Toney trade grade.
Giants’ trade grade: A-
In the end, the Giants win this trade (for now), but only by the slimmest of margins.
First-time general manager Joe Schoen took a player who he didn’t draft and who’s appeared in just two games this season (producing two rushes for 23 yards and two catches for zero yards), and turned him into two draft picks, including a valuable Day 2 selection. That’s not a bad move at all for your first major NFL trade deadline deal.
Toney is a talented player, for sure. However, from the time Schoen and Brian Davoll showed up in New Jersey from Buffalo, he’s never seemed to be in their plans. The Giants even drafted Kentucky’s Wan’Dale Robinson — an eerily similar player to Toney — in the second round this year. If you need a sign that Schoen and Daboll were never sold on Toney, they told you as much with their actions in April.
The Giants are the surprise of the NFL this season at 6-1 through seven games. But the Schoen/Daboll project in the Meadowlands is a long-term one.
The duo obviously had their doubts about the young WR. That’s why they drafted Robinson. And those doubts were obviously confirmed through seven weeks, hence the Kadarius Toney trade.
Plus, the team has one of the best records in the NFL without Toney already in 2022. Surely they can live without his 23 yards.
The Giants also saved a good deal of money by jettisoning Toney. By trading Toney to the Chiefs, the Giants save $5.2 million over the next two seasons (the rest of this year’s $784K, $1.9 in 2023, and $2.5 in 2024). That will also help with the franchise’s long-term plans.
There is a possibility that Toney gets healthy, keeps his cool, puts it all together, and becomes a major NFL star. That’s a lot of variables though between where the WR is at now and the Pro Bowl.
If you’re a Giants fan, you happily take the picks and say sayonara to a player you barely knew. For these reasons, the Giants’ Kadarius Toney draft grade is an A-.