Why is Kadarius Toney Like This?

Kadarius Toney
Kadarius Toney / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

Kadarius Toney has been a detriment to the Kansas City Chiefs at every single turn this season. It has honestly been remarkable to watch. All players have bad games. Many have bad stretches of games. Some even have a full season's worth of bad games. Toney's 2023 has been markedly worse than anything we've seen before. He caught 27 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown, which is the season statline of a player most people haven't heard of. But Toney has done so much damage to his team in such obvious ways that everybody knows who he is.

He's been a game-changer, honestly. His stone hands led to multiple interceptions over the course of the year. The Chiefs lost their opening night game against the Detroit Lions pretty much directly because Toney let a pass bounce off his hands and it got returned for a touchdown. He lined up offsides against the Buffalo Bills to wipe away KC's go-ahead touchdown, leading to a Patrick Mahomes meltdown the likes of which we have never seen. He didn't play a snap in the Wild Card round or the Divisional round; the day after he was declared out with an injury ahead of the AFC Championship Game, he went on Instagram Live and said "they" were lying about his injuries. At every single turn he has been a distraction or a catalyst of destruction leading to losses and distractions.

Despite it all the Chiefs are in the Super Bowl and still have him on the active roster, which meant he was at Media Day on Monday. And wouldn't you know it, Toney took the first opportunity possible to hurt his team!

First he was asked about that Instagram Live rant and he claimed it got "chopped up" and misconstrued to make people think he was attacking the Chiefs. Instead he says he was taking shots at New York Giants fans, which.... isn't really better? It's the night before the AFCCG and he's jumping on social media to complain about the team that traded him over a year ago and take shots at their fans? I mean, what are we doing here.

Moments later Toney gave the quote that inspired this article-- telling the reporter that he's a No. 1 wide receiver "if" he gets the ball.

It is just so entirely unnecessary to incite controversy like this. Is it really a big problem? No. It might be if Toney was actually good. Instead most of the discussion surrounding this soundbite can be summarized by a hearty guffaw. But it is almost a talent to go down the worst possible path every single time. Instead of saying, oh, I dunno, anything else, Toney has made this interview a Thing when it was previously not a Thing. Something the Chiefs might have to address internally and, if not that, something else everybody has to think about this week.

Why? Why is he like this? How is it possible that every time we hear his name it's in connection with a problem for the Chiefs? The consistency is borderline admirable and more than a bit confusing given his inconsistency everywhere else.

Some guys just have a knack for the spotlight. We knew that. Toney's knack for the spotlight for his failures and only his failures is something we rarely see. Historic stuff that we should perhaps be appreciating by this point because it's real hard to imagine Toney being in the NFL for much longer.