Last week, the Kansas City Chiefs acquired wide receiver Kadarius Toney in a trade with the New York Giants for a third-round compensatory pick and a sixth-round pick.
But this was not the beginning of the team’s interest in acquiring the wideout. According to Toney, Kansas City’s interest in him dates all the way back to 2021’s pre-draft process. At that time, the Chiefs were coming off a Super Bowl appearance and already had wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman on the team. Toney seemed to fit right in with what Kansas City was seeking at the position.
Unfortunately, some things are not meant to be — at least not on the timeline we expect. Desperately needing to overhaul their offensive line, the Chiefs traded their first-round draft pick to the Baltimore Ravens for starting left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. This effectively ended any chance of acquiring Toney in the draft.
Meanwhile, Toney’s highlight-reel style of play helped him move up draft boards. The Giants eventually selected him with the 20th overall pick.
On Wednesday, Toney confirmed Kansas City’s pre-draft courtship with him.
“I think the history probably goes back [to] before I even came into the league,” he told reporters. “They really wanted me here.”
In New York, Toney ended up having an up-and-down tenure that was marred by a string of injuries that kept him off the field for a total of 12 games through his first two NFL seasons. But despite the injury history, Chiefs general manager Brett Veach remained steadfast in his admiration for Toney’s playmaking ability.
Even before the season began, the GM was talking to quarterback Patrick Mahomes about the Giants wideout.
“It was something that he actually approached me about during the off-season,” Mahomes revealed, “so he’s kind of kept me in the loop on everything. It didn’t work out then.”
Mahomes said that as the season progressed, he didn’t think that much about Toney; he was focused on the guys the team had been able to acquire.
But if you are a Chiefs fan, you know that once Veach sets his mind on a player, he will stop at nothing until they are wearing a Kansas City uniform.
By the time the Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Week 7, Veach was well into making a deal for the former first-round player.
“He (Veach) came to me,” recalled Mahomes, “I think after the San Fran game — and kind of came back and said this might happen during the bye. Luckily for us, it did happen — and we were able to get another talented playmaker in the receiving room.”
Toney is grateful for being somewhere where he is appreciated — which wasn’t always the case in New York.
“It feels good [to be] wanted by a team,” he noted on Wednesday. “I feel like this is a great opportunity for everybody — I mean, a fresh start, for me to be able to step into the AFC and show what I can do.”