Here’s why Chiefs WR Kadarius Toney chose to wear No. 19 jersey

We finally have the story behind Kansas City Chiefs WR Kadarius Toney’s choice of jersey number.

Toney wore No. 89 with the New York Giants and even had that jersey number tattooed on his body. When he chose a new jersey number in Kansas City, it came as a bit of a shock, especially when the No. 89 was open at the time the team traded for him.

On the latest episode of “The Franchise” documentary series, Toney revealed the reason behind the jersey number choice.

“I really feel ecstatic right now,” Toney said. “I don’t know. There’s just too much behind it, right now. Like too much behind the number, too much behind the team. I’m just ready to take off and do what I’ve got to do right now.”

In 2018, Toney’s lifelong friend and teammate at Blount High School, Ja’Christopher McCants, lost his life in a tragic car accident. McCants was just 19 years old. He also wore the No. 19 playing free safety and receiver at Blount High School, where Toney was his quarterback. Their relationship extended well beyond the gridiron, though. They grew up together, they made music together.

Toney chose the No. 19 jersey as a way to honor the memory of his friend.

“19 really means a lot to me,” Toney said. “My partner died like shortly after high school, where he got in an accident. He didn’t make it, but 19 is really to signify him.”

In addition to honoring McCants, it’s clear that it also signifies a fresh start for Toney’s NFL career.

“I always remember for my life,” Toney said. “I’ll always be thankful for New York and the opportunity — what was offered. I’m just ready for a new start right now, I’m not going to lie. (I’m) just ready for a new start.”

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Story originally appeared on Chiefs Wire