July 15, 2024

The Kansas City Chiefs opted not to exercise their option for an additional season on wide receiver Kadarius Toney’s rookie contract, allowing the deadline to pass without action on Thursday.

Every first-round draft pick signs a standard four-year contract with a team option for a fifth season, which must be exercised before the player’s fourth season. Although the New York Giants initially selected Toney at No. 20 in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Chiefs acquired him via trade on Oct. 27, 2022, making the option decision their responsibility. By not picking up the option, Toney is now entering the final year of his contract and will become an unrestricted free agent next offseason.

Had Kansas City exercised the option, Toney would have remained under contract until the 2025 season, with a guaranteed salary of $14.345 million in 2025, averaging the third through 25th highest quarterback salaries over the past five seasons. This figure exceeds the total value of Toney’s original four-year rookie contract signed in 2021, which amounted to $13.72 million.

Why The Kansas City Chiefs' Kadarius Toney Could Become A Deep Threat

Fifth-year options are determined based on specific criteria, including Pro Bowl selections and playing time thresholds. Toney did not meet the requirements for Pro Bowl appearances or playing time.

During the previous season, Toney recorded 27 receptions for 169 yards and one touchdown, along with 11 rushing attempts for 31 yards and six punt returns for a 9.7-yard average in 13 games. Despite appearing on the injury report for the last six games of the season, he did not play after Dec. 17 as the Chiefs secured their second consecutive Super Bowl victory.

Since joining the Chiefs, Toney has accumulated 41 receptions for 340 yards and three touchdowns in 20 regular-season games, along with 90 rushing yards and one touchdown on 16 attempts, and 16 punt returns for a 7.4-yard average. In three postseason games, he has seven receptions for 50 yards and one touchdown, in addition to a 14-yard rushing touchdown and six punt returns for an 18.7-yard average.

Toney notably contributed to Kansas City’s victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII, including a record-setting 65-yard punt return that set up a touchdown in the fourth quarter, followed by a 5-yard touchdown reception.

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