January 10, 2022 was a dreary day for Cowboys, Eagles, and Commanders fans across the world as the New York Giants announced general manager Dave Gettleman’s retirement. In his four years as GM, Gettleman made so many unthinkably bad moves that he became more valuable to the Cowboys than Dak Prescott, more vital to the Commanders’ success than Chase Young, and better for an Eagles fan’s mental health than Jason Kelce. Whether it was drafting Daniel Jones sixth overall in 2019, Andrew Thomas fourth overall in 2020, signing Adoree’ Jackson for more money than Logan Ryan, or letting go of Romeo Okwara in 2018 in exchange for washed-up veteran Connor Barwin, Gettleman was always sure to bring a smile to his rivals’ faces. Just like death and taxes, his blunders were inevitable.
Giants’ fans jumped with glee as the news was announced though. The man who swore to bring the franchise back to winning only to create one of the sorriest franchises in the league was finally gone. Three months later, new GM JoeSchoen is already trying to undermine Gettleman’s final draft.
According to a report from Pat Leronard of the New York Daily News on Friday, the Giants and Schoen are looking to trade their 2021 first-round draft pick after just one season with the team. Kadarius Toney, 23, had a disappointing rookie season, catching just 39 passes for 420 yards and no touchdowns in 10 games played, but he was still second on the team in receiving by only 101 yards while playing in four fewer games than the team’s leading receiver, Kenny Golladay.
Clearly, production isn’t the reason for this decision. According to Leonard, Toney’s decision to opt out of the Giants’ voluntary offseason programs was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. Per Leonard, “There was some internal momentum for bailing on Toney during his tumultuous rookie season a year ago. His commitment came into question behind the scenes during his rookie year due to lack of playbook study, poor meeting behavior and frequent injuries.”
While the injuries are obviously not Toney’s fault, they have become an issue for the former Florida Gator. He was forced to miss most of Giants’ training camp his rookie year due to a hamstring injury and was constantly hindered by ankle, quad, and oblique injuries (as well as COVID) throughout the season. His injuries have become so prevalent that Draft Sharks gives Toney a 54 percent chance of suffering at least one injury in 2022, as well as a 4.5 percent chance of getting injury in any one game next season.
To put that in perspective, even someone as injury prone as Christian McCaffrey has been over the past few seasons is given a 78 percent chance. That’s after two seasons where he played 10 games total, as many as Toney played. Yet still, Toney has earned a 54 percent mark after just his rookie season.
There are also the personality issues that Leonard mentioned. The Giants aren’t too far removed from their Odell Beckham Jr. days, and while neither Schoen nor new head coach Brian Daboll were involved with that team, they probably saw the effect the OBJ saga had on the Giants at the time. Toney’s refusal to study playbooks and not disrupt meetings coupled with the fact that he expressed frustration with his lack of usage early last season despite missing most of training camp AND the fact that he was ejected from a game for throwing a punch at Cowboys’ safety Demontae Kazee are all immense causes for concern, and Schoen is looking to get out in front of it. It just goes to show that no matter what Gettleman tried to accomplish, he could never seem to make a good move.
Toney wasn’t even the receiver he wanted. He had to trade down because he wanted DeVonta Smith, but the Eagles traded up in front of the Giants to snag the former Heisman winner. Drafting Toney was a move of desperation, much like several of Gettleman’s decisions throughout his tenure as GM, and just like signing Nate Solder for an exorbitant price, throwing too much money at Levine Toilolo, or overpaying Adoree’ Jackson, that desperate move for a receiver could cost the Giants big time.