Kadarius Toney didn’t carry the same fanfare as say, DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle or Ja’Marr Chase leading up to draft day. However, once the New York Giants surprised many by snagging him with the No. 20 overall selection, it quickly became apparent that those in NFL circles viewed the Florida product in a light much closer to those prospects than public perception may have previously let on.
In the days that followed, Jaguars head coach admitted he was “heartbroken” over losing out on Toney in the first round. Reports also surfaced claiming the Packers had their “fingers crossed” the wideout would slip them at No. 29. Of course, this begs the question with Toney apparently being the apple of so many franchises’ eye, why not actively pursue/trade up for him to secure his services? That’s where Toney’s perceived “red flags” likely come into play. GMs likely didn’t want to wager their future by giving up extra draft capital in order to select a player who some may categorize as a gamble.
Prodding into a suspension at Florida for “not living up to the Gator standard,” and being stopped by the Gainesville Police Department while (legally) carrying an AR-15 is certainly understandable. Yet of course, scouts had concerns over more lighthearted factors as well, such as Toney’s music career. That aspect was recently brought back into the spotlight following the release of his new music video.
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Toney Fires Back at Critics Over Music Career After New Video Drops
Toney, otherwise known as “Yung Joka” dropped his latest single International Player over the weekend, accompanied by a two-minute and 43-second visual. As is the case with most athletes that try their hand at music, it didn’t come without its fair share of backlash.
If you want to delve into the negative feedback you can check out Big Blue Interactive, but the gist is this: fans coming out of the woodworks to doubt Toney’s commitment to football — something the 22-year-old Alabama native wasn’t having any of.
“Don’t kome over here kommenting on my music, and it ain’t got in to do with you! I been rappin almost 3 years now. You late! Football aint goin nowhere. Ima live my life however i want. Watever is said…i don’t kare!” Toney tweeted. He later added, “On god, football is some i do… it don’t make me who I am.”
(Warning: This video contains NSFW language):
Toney Continues to Make Headlines
As we touched on above, this isn’t the first time concerns have arisen when it comes to Toney’s ability to balance both music and football. Here’s what one anonymous scout told The Athletic’s Bob McGinn of the wideout leading up to the draft:
Basically, they tailored a package to his skill set. ‘We’re going to do these routes and get the ball in your hands.’ I kind of liked the kid. He was very real. He’s got some swagger. He actually has, like, two (recorded) albums and three additional singles. It’s a concern whether he has enough commitment to do it at this level with all the stuff he has going on.
While we don’t see any harm in having other interests outside of football, Toney had to know that his music career would draw added attention and added negativity upon his arrival in New York. It also doesn’t help that his short time with the Giants thus far has been highlighted by adverse headlines such as an odd cleat issue, skipping OTAs and leaving minicamp on numerous occasions with an apparent injury.
Of course, if Toney goes out and balls, none of this really matters. If anything, it’ll help his streaming numbers.
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