A year and a half after becoming part of the Giants’ future, Kadarius Toney now is part of the team’s past.
The wide receiver, a 2021 first-round pick, was traded to Kansas City on Thursday for third- and sixth-round picks. The move was finalized shortly before the team’s practice began in the afternoon.
“We just thought it was best for the team,” coach Brian Daboll said on his way to that workout, just minutes after informing Toney of the move. “We wish Kadarius well. I’m not going to get into details or anything like that, but this is the decision we made.”
It came suddenly but hardly was surprising. Toney’s hamstring injuries made him a non-factor in the team’s 6-1 start as he appeared in only two games this season. He had two catches for a total of zero yards and two carries for 23 yards.
Toney appeared in only 12 of the 24 games the Giants played since his arrival because of a number of injuries and circumstances (including two bouts with COVID last year). The dazzling athleticism the Giants touted when they drafted him rarely made its way onto NFL fields.
Nearly half of Toney’s career production came in a two-game stretch last season against the Saints (six catches for 78 yards) and Cowboys (10 catches for 189 yards). In his 10 other games for the Giants, he totaled 25 catches for 153 yards.
“Obviously, you would have loved to have more success on the field,” quarterback Daniel Jones said of the player who was drafted with the thinking that he could give him more weapons in the passing game, “but I wish him the best going forward and hope he does great in Kansas City.”
Toney has not played for the Giants since Week 2 and has not practiced for the Giants since his latest hamstring setback just a few days before he was set to return for the Week 5 game against the Packers in London earlier this month.
Toney made a post on Twitter shortly after the trade that implied he is fully healthy but deleted it.
“I think we all understand that we don’t make any of those decisions, the ‘upstairs’ decisions,” Jones said. “We respect that. It’s our job to play and play as well as we can.”
Toney is the latest player who was brought in by former general manager Dave Gettleman and jettisoned by new general manager Joe Schoen. He follows James Bradberry, Logan Ryan and Blake Martinez.
While there still are high-functioning players left whom Gettleman acquired (Jones, Saquon Barkley and Andrew Thomas, all first-round picks, to name a few), Toney’s departure leaves just one glaring failed relic of the previous regime on the roster: Kenny Golladay.
Like Toney, Golladay was brought in in the spring of 2021 (he was a free agent) to improve the offense. Like Toney, Golladay has yet to score a touchdown with the Giants.
On Thursday, Golladay said he hopes he can stick around to change that perception. With the trade deadline on Tuesday, he said he prefers to remain with the Giants despite a clearly diminished role in the offense when he was healthy.
Golladay has missed the last three games with a knee injury and likely won’t return until after next week’s bye. He said he is “jealous” of teammates who have been part of the team’s four-game winning streak.
“It motivates me even more to get out there with them just so I can put my little stamp on the game,” he said. “However that comes, if it’s in the blocking area, if it’s in the pass catching, that’s the part I get jealous about. Just seeing the guys out there having fun with it.”
Golladay might get that chance again this season. His large contract makes it nearly impossible for the Giants to move him.
Toney will not — at least not with this team.