Every team makes mistakes in an NFL draft. Most teams find it difficult to admit huge blunders and move on. This current Giants regime did not select Kadarius Toney in the first round last year. Now, reports say, the new group will at least explore moving on from the enigmatic wide receiver.
The Giants have engaged in conversations with other teams about Toney, The Post has confirmed, as new general manager Joe Schoen is making sure he does his due diligence heading into his first NFL draft as the man in charge. Toney has not endeared himself to the new brain trust by not attending the voluntary offseason workout program this spring.
It remains to be seen what the Giants could get back for Toney. It would not be anything close to the first-round pick they used to select him (a mid-round pick, at best, could be the going rate), and if there are no enticing offers, Schoen is likely to sit tight – unless the feeling is Toney is more trouble than he is worth. It is not as if the Giants’ offense is teeming with the sort of talent Toney possesses.
It is noteworthy that, during the scouting combine in early March, Schoen was asked, point-blank, if he considered Toney to be a “tradeable piece ” or if he viewed him as untouchable.
“I don’t think Kadarius is a tradable piece, ” Schoen said at the time. “Again, if somebody calls, we’re gonna listen. But, he’s a good young player that our coaches really like. We’ve been in constant contact with him and we’re excited to see what he can do. ”
Has anything, or everything, changed since then?
Dave Gettleman, the former Giants general manager, in the first trade-down of his career, moved from No. 11 to No. 20 in the first round last year, gaining the Bears’ first round pick (No. 7 overall) in this year’s draft. At No. 20, the Giants took Toney out of Florida, happy they were able to address their need at wide receiver after missing out on their top target, DeVonta Smith, who went to the Eagles at No. 10 after Philadelphia traded up and over the Giants.
Schoen and Brian Daboll, the new head coach, inherited Toney and had no prior loyalty to him. Toney did not take part in the first two weeks of the voluntary offseason workout program and he was not at the team facility for this week’s three-day minicamp, which was also voluntary.
Daboll said Wednesday he has had “good talks with KT ” and emphasized all the spring work thus far is voluntary. It is not superfluous, though.
“The guys that are here, we’re going to work with, ” Daboll said. “The guys that aren’t, they’re going to miss out on some things. ”
Toney, 23, endured a rocky rookie year. He had trouble with his cleats in his very first organized team activity practice and went through a drill with one foot in only a sock. It rarely got smoother.
Toney missed practice time and six games with an assortment of maladies – two bouts of COVID-19 and issues with his ankle, oblique, shoulder and hamstring. It took him until Week 4, when he caught six passes for 78 yards in a comeback victory in New Orleans, to flash his immense physical skill. The next week, he was outstanding in a loss at Dallas, hauling in 10 passes for 189 yards. At times, it was impossible for the Cowboys defenders to tackle him. He also was ejected from that game when he threw a punch at a Dallas player.
Toney finished his first season with 39 receptions for 420 yards and no touchdowns. He has rare ability to stop and start and game-breaking potential, but is rough around the edges, on and off the field. The previous coaching staff believed Toney had problems trusting anyone outside his circle and tried to work through those issues. Toney’s work ethic and commitment were questioned at times and his dealings with the media were uneven and often uneasy.