Chiefs' belief in Giants castoff could spoil a DeAndre Hopkins signing
By Vinny Somma,2023-05-29
From the outside looking in, the Kansas City Chiefs remain atop the list of most logical destinations for wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. However, internally, the Chiefs don't appear all too desperate to add to their receiving arsenal.
While there is "certainly some interest" from the Chiefs per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, the NFL insider noted that he doesn't get the sense Kansas City is "overly desperate to make this happen." Appearing on the Keyshawn, JWill & Max Show, Fowler prefaced the team's moderate level of interest in Hopkins by highlighting that "they do believe Kadarius Toney can be a No. 1 type receiver."
The Chiefs' faith in Toney has been echoed in spades this summer. Despite losing Tyreek Hill and JuJu Smith-Schuster in back-to-back offseasons, Kansas City has remained relatively stagnant at the receiver position, slating Toney to serve as Patrick Mahomes' go-to target out wide — a scenario the team appears more than content with.
While speaking with the media in April, Chiefs general manager Brett Veach gushed over Toney, stating he believes "the sky is the limit for him."
"He was a first-round pick for a reason," Veach said of Toney. "There's a reason why we traded for him and we felt like he was first-round talent."
The ever-electric Toney was dealt to the Chiefs in the middle of last season after a lackluster 12-game career with the New York Giants. In seven regular-season games with the Chiefs in 2022, Toney hauled in 14 of 17 targets for 171 yards and two touchdowns. During Kansas City's title run, Toney added seven catches for 50 yards, including a Super Bowl touchdown.
Despite their belief in Toney, don't expect the Chiefs to close the door on Hopkins altogether. According to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer , they were just one of two teams to have "substantive trade talks with Arizona" prior to his release.
Chances are Hopkins will be looking for a deal in the range/north of the $15M per year Odell Beckham Jr. received from the Baltimore Ravens this offseason. As things currently stand, that type of spend will likely prove too rich for the Chiefs. Kansas City ranks dead last in cap space, per Spotrac .
However, if Hopkins' market doesn't materialize to the extent he expects, the idea of joining the reigning Super Bowl Champions at a reduced price seems plausible.
In the meantime, the Chiefs will look to defend their championship with Toney, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Skyy Moore penciled in as the team's top three receivers, none of whom eclipsed 42 receptions, 687 receiving yards or two touchdowns last season.