Kadarius Toney Still In Chiefs’ Plans; Latest On Rashee Rice

It certainly would be understandable if the Chiefs washed their hands of Kadarius Toney after the events of 2023. Although the shifty wide receiver stayed healthier than he did in 2021 and ’22, his inconsistency cost the eventual champions during a clunky season for its passing attack.

Patrick Mahomes‘ first QBR finish outside the top five (eighth) involved a 14th-place finish in passer rating, and drops from Travis Kelce and his far less reliable wide receiver corps played a major role in an inconsistent Chiefs regular season. Toney was the lead culprit, and his infamous offside infraction and Week 16 drop that led to a Patriots interception highlighted a bad season from the first-round pick. The Chiefs went 6-0 down the stretch with Toney and Skyy Moore inactive; the former was a healthy scratch in Super Bowl LVIII.

That roster decision came after Toney criticized the Chiefs in a rant before the AFC championship game. The former Giants first-rounder accused the team of lying about his injury status. Kansas City’s injury report listed Toney as being out due to ankle and hip injuries for the AFC decider in Baltimore. Toney, whom the Giants moved due to reliability concerns, totaled just 169 receiving yards in 13 games last season.

The Chiefs owe Toney $2.53MM in guaranteed salary in his contract year. While the Marquise Brown addition will likely precede another high draft choice being used on a receiver (especially in light of the Rashee Rice developments), Andy Reid is not closing the book on Toney’s time in Kansas City.

Listen, I mean, Kadarius is arguably one of the most talented guys we have on the team. It’s just a matter of staying healthy and being able to stay on the field,” Reid said (h/t Yardbarker.com’s Clark Dalton). “You always hear about the reliability, accountability, all those things that go into it. And so, I’m expecting him to come back ripping and ready to go.

With the Giants, Toney encountered chronic hamstring trouble; ankle, quad, knee and oblique issues also sidelined the Florida alum during his first two seasons. Frequently absent with the Giants and Chiefs in 2022, Toney logged 15 missed games over his first two seasons. After being forced out of the 2022 AFC title game, however, Toney set a Super Bowl record with a 65-yard punt return; that came shortly after a 5-yard touchdown reception in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl LVII win over the Eagles.

Kansas City’s top three receivers for 2024 could consist of Brown, Rice and a to-be-determined draftee. That would leave Toney and Moore’s roles uncertain. Rice, however, has a host of issues to navigate.

Reid said (via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport) Rice is virtually attending the Chiefs’ offseason program after being booked on eight felony charges in connection with a hit-and-run incident in Dallas. This has thrown another significant offseason hurdle into the equation for the Chiefs. Kansas City has been here before with a wide receiver, with Tyreek Hill being banned from the team facility — amid a second bout of off-field trouble — during the 2019 offseason.

It remains to be seen how the NFL will proceed with Rice, who is cooperating with authorities after a six-car accident that came shortly after his car reached 119mph, per the Dallas Morning News’ Jamie Landers and Kelli Smith. Rice, who was believed to be street racing through traffic on a Dallas highway, suffered minor injuries in the wreck.

The team’s top 2023 wideout staying away from the first phase of the Chiefs’ offseason program affects the roles of Toney and Moore, who did not live up to expectations in 2023. A suspension stands to be in the cards for Rice, though he has a significant legal matter to deal with before an NFL ban reaches the front burner. For now, Toney remains a Chief, as it appears Reid is fine giving him another shot.

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