The Chiefs won the Super Bowl last year without a classic No. 1 receiver. One of the receivers the Chiefs picked up along the way could become the team’s new No. 1 receiver in 2023.
Via Adam Teicher of ESPN.com, the Chiefs see Kadarius Toney as the potential successor to Tyreek Hill.
“He’s predominately been a guy that is a slot receiver, returner, runner — a gadget guy, if you will — but I don’t know if there is a limit on his game because he has a vertical game,’’ Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said, via Teicher. “I don’t know if [his college team, Florida was] one that vertically pushed the ball down the field, and his time early on in New York, I don’t know if they were a team that really vertically pushed the ball down the field.”
Last October, the Chiefs acquired Toney, a first-round pick in 2021, for a late third-round pick and a sixth-round pick in 2023.
“It’s a fair question to [ask]: ‘Has he ever played with a quarterback that likes to push the ball down the field?’” Veach said. “We have a lot of high hopes for him. He was a first-round pick for a reason. There’s a reason why we traded for him and we felt like he was first-round talent.”
A true No. 1 receiver has the speed to command double coverage, to force defensive coordinators to plan how to stop him. That’s what the Chiefs had in Hill.
They also had a guy who tempted quarterback Patrick Mahomes to hold the ball a little longer in order to uncork a long throw and catch. Last season, Mahomes operated within the confines of the offense — and it worked out pretty well.
If the Chiefs get a No. 1 receiver in Toney, it will be a great bargain. His salary for 2023 is only $1.907 million, and he’s not even eligible for a new deal until after the next season ends.
That’s the thing about having a No. 1 receiver. At some point, he needs to be paid accordingly. The Chiefs did it once with Hill, but they weren’t willing to do it again. It will be interesting to see whether Toney gets a massive contract if he becomes the guy who can do it all for the Kansas City offense, or whether the Chiefs will simply go look for another one.