A year ago this week, the Giants and Bears made a memorable draft day swap. You might know it as the Justin Fields Trade. But not even one calendar year after choosing Florida receiver Kadarius Toney with the first-round pick they got from the Bears, the Giants are putting their first rounder on the trade block.
Pat Leonard of the NY Daily News has the details:
When there is a potential buy-low opportunity for a skill position player at a position of need who also happens to have a first-round pedigree, it is easy to think about the Bears as a fitting trade partner. Then again, it doesn’t take much to understand why the Giants are shopping the 2021 first-round pick in the first place. And it might be reason enough to not pursue a Toney deal, no matter how low the costs go.
In addition to having a disappointing statistical rookie season (39 catches, 420 yards, 0 TD in 10 games) on the field, Toney had a rough one off of it. Toney had foot and hamstring injuries he was dealing with and a bout with COVID-19. But that feels like small potatoes once you remember Toney venting his frustration about his usage early in the regular season and then was ejected for throwing a punch during an October game against the Cowboys. And with a new GM and head coach in tow, it isn’t surprising to see Toney on the block.
And yet, there is still a hint of intrigue when it comes to acquiring a player with Toney’s skills and prospect pedigree.
Toney was a top-10 receiver prospect at this time last year. And there was a time when virtually every mock draft was sending him to Chicago. Admittedly, I was into it. Toney was coming off a season in which he racked up 1,145 scrimmage yards (70 catches, 984 receiving yards; 10 rushes for 161 yards) and 11 total touchdowns. Perhaps a change of scenery is just what Toney needs. Maybe Luke Getsy has a better idea of how to best utilize his skills. It is plausible that Tyke Tolbert, who was Toney’s receivers coach with the Giants in 2021, would green-light a move to bring him into the fold. Or he could go the other way, especially after having a front-row seat to a mess of a rookie season.
In the end, it is a situation worth monitoring. If the Giants want to ship off a talented (but troubled) receiver for pennies on the dollar, then the Bears — who have needs throughout the position room — should inquire. This isn’t to say Chicago should be putting on a full-court press to get a deal done. But there is no harm in checking in and seeing what’s up if your front office and coaching staff conclude the player fit is right.