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Adding Kadarius Toney is a Low-Risk, High-Reward Move for the Chiefs

Boardroom takes inventory of the Kansas City receiving corps with the former New York Giants WR now in the fold, as well as looks ahead to how the trade could affect the future.

There’s always going to be a major void when you lose a player of Tyreek Hill’s caliber, but if Patrick Mahomes has shown us anything, it’s that his Chiefs will always figure out a way to contend no matter who suits up.

Sitting atop the AFC West at 5-2, Kansas City officially acquired WR Kadarius Toney from the New York Giants on Friday. Reports of the trade began trickling out on Thursday, with ESPN’s Adam Schefter reporting the Chiefs sent back two 2023 draft picks in the deal.

After seeing the field in Weeks 1 and 2, Toney missed the Giants’ last five games due to hamstring injuries, but he’s on the brink of returning. The wide receiver recently explained how he re-aggravated the injury by rushing back too soon. Thus, with the Chiefs on bye this week, a proper amount of rest should bode well for a potential return against the Titans on Sunday Night Football in Week 9.

Toney, 23, was selected with the 21st pick in the 2021 Draft. Consider it a low-risk, high-reward move for the Chiefs — something they attempted to do when they acquired JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling this offseason.

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Last season, the 23-year-old led all Giants’ receivers in his rookie year with 39 receptions for 420 yards in 10 games. Toney really burst onto the NFL radar in Week 6 of the 2021 season when he brought in 10 receptions for 189 yards. He’s a high-impact player who has the ability to separate, with Mahomes’ accuracy, the partnership could be a win-win for both sides.

Kansas City’s Depth

Mahomes isn’t struggling by any means. He’s thrown a league-best 20 touchdowns, 2,159 yards (No. 2 in the NFL), and owns a 76.6 QB rating — also a league-high. He’s done well working with what he’s got, but there’s a significant drop-off after TE Travis Kelce. Simply put, the Chiefs don’t have a dominant WR1 to spread defenses and open the field the way Hill did when he was in Kansas City.

Keep in mind: Kansas City has spent $15.2 million in cap space on its wide receivers (18th in the NFL). That’s only 7.2% of their adjusted cap.

PlayerRecTDYardsY/G1st Downs
Travis Kelce*4775537936
JuJu Smith-Schuster34249470.622
Marquez Valdes-Scantling22036952.716
Mecole Hardman19321831.111
Clyde Edwards-Helaire*16313719.610
Jerick McKinnon*13111616.65
* indicates player that is NOT a wide receiver

Kadarius Toney Contract

Years: 4
Total Value: $13,719,508
Average Salary:
$3,429,877
2022 Salary:
$784,431
Signing Bonus: $7,337,824
UFA: 2026

Top Free Agents WRs in 2023

There aren’t many after the 2022 offseason spending frenzy, but here are a few:

  • Nelson Agholor
  • Sterling Shepard
  • DJ Chark
  • Randall Cobb
  • Marvin Jones
  • Jakobi Meyers
  • Allen Lazard
  • Noah Brown
  • Parris Campbell
  • Mack Hollins
  • Jarvis Landry

Any of those guys would help, but they still aren’t dominant enough to be deemed a WR1.

Chiefs Outlook

There isn’t much to criticize. Pat Mahomes is doing Pat Mahomes things, Kelce leads the NFL in touchdown receptions, and Kansas City’s offense is scoring the most points in the league (31.9). The defense is probably one of the few things we can nitpick at, allowing 24.6 points per game and roughly 369 yards per game.

But thanks to their lethal offense, the Chiefs are in a good place and the addition of Toney should only help as a low-risk, high-reward offensive threat.

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About The Author
Anthony Puccio
Anthony Puccio
Anthony Puccio is a Staff Writer at Boardroom. Puccio has 10 years of experience in journalism and content creation, previously working for SB Nation, The Associated Press, New York Daily News, SNY, and Front Office Sports. In 2016, he received New York University's CCTOP scholarship and earned a bachelor's degree in Communications from St. John's University. He can be spotted a mile away thanks to his plaid suits and thick New York accent. Don't believe us? Check his Twitter @APooch.