Kadarius Toney Trade Details: Revisiting Winners and Losers From Kansas City Chiefs and New York Giants Trade

It wasn't surprising that the New York Giants traded Kadarius Toney to the Kansas City Chiefs. What was surprising was how many winners emerged.

It’s not unusual for teams to sell high on their first-round draft picks when they don’t meet expectations. It is a bit unusual to see that player end up playing a crucial role in a Super Bowl win the same year he was traded, as the New York Giants found out when they traded Kadarius Toney to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Given that surprising turnaround in production, it’s a little bit more interesting going over the details of the trade for Toney to see who won the trade.

Kadarius Toney Trade Details

Toney was traded to Kansas City on Oct. 27, 2022 — several days ahead of the NFL trade deadline.

The Chiefs received:

  • WR Kadarius Toney

The Giants received:

  • 2023 third-round pick, No. 100 overall (WR Tre Tucker)
  • 2023 sixth-round pick, No. 209 overall (CB Tre Hawkins III)

The Giants, however, ended up trading the 100th overall pick to the Las Vegas Raiders for tight end Darren Waller.

Players Involved in the Kadarius Toney Trade

The three players aside from Toney involved in the trade are receiver Tre Tucker (now a member of the Raiders), Giants cornerback Tre Hawkins III, and Waller.

Who Won the Kadarius Toney Trade?

For all that Toney did in the Super Bowl — the record for the longest Super Bowl punt return, which set up a Chiefs touchdown in the fourth quarter that allowed them to pull ahead by eight points — he also scored a touchdown on offense with his five-yard touchdown reception. His 65-yard return in the fourth quarter also set up a touchdown scored by Skyy Moore.

It’s tough to say if that’s worth a third-round pick and change, especially because Toney only provided the Chiefs with 171 receiving yards, or 24.4 yards a game. He also provided some rushing production and replacement-level punt-return capability. That is, of course, until the Super Bowl, where his special-teams contributions were phenomenal.

That said, Toney was one of the most efficient receivers in the NFL when he was actually on the field, earning 2.15 yards per route run. That’s ahead of Keenan Allen, Ja’Marr Chase, DK Metcalf, and Tyler Lockett.

The issue seems to be that when Toney’s on the field, the ball is almost certainly headed his way. He earned more targets per route than Justin Jefferson, Stefon Diggs, and A.J. Brown — ranking seventh among all receivers with at least 100 routes.

That sounds like a good thing, but the high target rate, yet low overall usage rate, suggests his touches were manufactured, which doesn’t scale. Toney will need to be more than that if he’s going to be any value to the franchise.

Kansas City drafted Rashee Rice in Round 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft, so it’s not as if they have complete faith that Toney can scale up his production and take over a starter’s role. It’s entirely possible that he plays fourth fiddle to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Moore, and Rice. He could even play behind Richie James, who outcompeted Toney for snaps on the Giants last year.

It’s difficult to tell if the Chiefs are a winner of the trade, but given how close the Super Bowl was and the instrumental role that he played, we’ll call them a winner even if a third-round pick is a bit steep.

Toney himself is a winner. He ends up on a roster without a ton of competition in front of him, with the best quarterback in the NFL throwing to him. On top of that, Toney got a ring and some great moments in the NFL’s biggest game, so it’s not hard to make the case for him.

The Giants flipped Toney in exchange for a premier tight end, assuming he’s healthy. It’s not a given that Waller will produce a 1,000-yard season, but we know he’s capable of it and that the odds of him producing a high-level season are higher than for Toney. That’s a definitive win for New York.

There aren’t many other winners and losers to speak of. The rest of the Giants’ receiving corps, especially Wan’Dale Robinson, benefit from not having another receiver to compete with. However, Toney was traded because he wasn’t seeing many snaps in the first place.

In a way, Waller wins because he gets out of a situation he didn’t like in Las Vegas and has the ability to prove himself under a pair of offensive minds that are well-regarded around the league in head coach Brian Daboll and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka.

The ripple effect of this trade wasn’t particularly large, which is just the nature of some of these smaller transactions. Nevertheless, it looks like nearly everyone impacted by the trade ended up in the best place possible.

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