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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Articles tagged: Stefon Diggs

Report: Patriots pursued Stefon Diggs trade before Bills deal

Stefon Diggs

The Buffalo Bills made a Stefon Diggs trade come together quickly, but their division rival was also in the mix to make a blockbuster deal.

According to Albert Breer of The MMQB, the New England Patriots were interested in Diggs and pursued a trade when it became clear that the Minnesota Vikings might be willing to deal. However, their interest faded quickly after using the franchise tag on offensive lineman Joe Thuney, costing the team precious cap space.

The last straw was when the Patriots became aware that Tom Brady was likely to leave, making the acquisition of a star wide receiver less important.

If nothing else, it shows that the Patriots were still trying to get more weapons for Brady late on in the process. The reality, however, was that Brady clearly wanted out regardless of what the Patriots were doing transaction-wise. Diggs might have been a nice weapon for the Patriots’ next quarterback, but giving up that much for him never made sense once Brady was out the door.

Josh Allen reacts on Twitter to Bills acquiring Stefon Diggs in trade

Josh Allen

The Buffalo Bills acquired Stefon Diggs in a trade with the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night, and Bills quarterback Josh Allen seems pleased.

Allen sent a two-word tweet that said it all: “Ya Digg?”

The Bills are beefing up their receiving options for Allen by getting him a No. 1 receiver. They also have John Brown and Cole Beasley at the receiver spots.

Buffalo is giving up a tidy package for Diggs though. They are trading a first, fifth and sixth-round pick in 2020 and fourth-round pick in 2021 to Minnesota for Diggs and a 7th-round pick.

Diggs had 63 catches for 1,130 yards and six touchdowns last season. He had 102 catches for 1,021 yards and nine touchdowns in 2018. He hinted earlier on Monday that he was going to be traded, and that came through.

Stefon Diggs hints he wants Vikings to trade him

Stefon Diggs

Stefon Diggs appears to be unhappy with the Minnesota Vikings … again.

Trade rumors have been swirling around Diggs dating back to early last season, in large part because of the star wide receiver’s social media activity. That theme continued at the start of the NFL’s free agency tampering period on Monday, when Diggs tweeted that it is “time for a new beginning.”

Diggs also posted cryptic tweets earlier this offseason, and he blatantly fueled rumors that he was going to be traded prior to the deadline last year. He has done this on more than one occasion, and each time he has remained with the Vikings. When one of his followers pointed that out, Diggs insisted things are different this time and “something’s going to happen.”

If the Vikings can find a trade partner for Diggs, they may be interested in dealing him. Diggs is scheduled to carry a salary cap hit of $14.5 million, and he has to have become a headache in Minnesota at this point.

A lot of Diggs’ frustration seemed to stem from his slow start last year, but he ended up leading the Vikings with 1,130 receiving yards. His production increased when Adam Thielen went down with an injury, so perhaps he knows it is not sustainable. The Vikings have done what they can to downplay the rumors, but Diggs is not letting the talk go away.

Vikings GM suggests Stefon Diggs rumors have been ‘sensationalized’

Stefon Diggs

The Minnesota Vikings have had to deal with Stefon Diggs trade rumors for much of the offseason, with Diggs’ own social media posts fueling the speculation. If you ask the Vikings, though, there’s not much to it.

Vikings GM Rick Spielman denied Tuesday that Diggs had asked for a trade, and hinted that he felt the media had “sensationalized” the situation.

Any talk of a Diggs trade has been pure speculation, and most reporting indicates that the Vikings expect to keep him. Diggs’ social media activity has been suspicious, but it seems to be a case of the player simply being himself, and it doesn’t sound like he wants out, at least not right now.

Report: Vikings intend to keep Stefon Diggs despite trade rumors

Stefon Diggs

Stefon Diggs’ social media activity has helped play a role in sparking trade rumors, but most of the speculation surrounding the Minnesota Vikings’ wide receiver is reportedly unfounded.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Wednesday that the Vikings have no incentive to trade Diggs and certainly won’t release him. Diggs’ recent moody tweets are simply characterized as “Diggs being Diggs.”

Trade speculation around Diggs has grown of late, partially because of his social media activity and perceived unhappiness with the organization. This appears to have been overstated, though. Diggs is signed to a reasonable long-term contract and is coming off his second consecutive 1,000-yard season. The Vikings, who intend to contend in 2020, aren’t going to be eager to get rid of that.

Could Vikings trade Stefon Diggs this offseason?

Stefon Diggs

The Minnesota Vikings have some decisions to make this offseason, and one big one centers on wide receiver Stefon Diggs.

Diggs is a year and a half removed from signing a contract extension that would keep him with the Vikings through 2023, but after a tumultuous 2019 season, there is some question whether he’ll even be with the team in 2020. Michael Rand of the StarTribune examined Diggs’ status on Monday and suggested that the Vikings may have some reason to explore a Diggs trade during the offseason.

The Vikings have little cap space to work with at the moment, and Diggs’ $14.5 million cap hit for 2020 is the second-highest on the team behind only Kirk Cousins. In addition, there is some reason to believe Diggs’ usage may not be exceptionally high in 2020. The Vikings hired Gary Kubiak as offensive coordinator, suggesting an offense based around playaction and the run game that may not maximize Diggs’ talents.

Rand comes to the conclusion that the “smart money” is on Diggs playing elsewhere in 2020.

The wide receiver has even been posting a series of cryptic tweets throughout the week that may or may not have anything to do with the Vikings.

Diggs is unquestionably talented. He led the Vikings with 1,130 receiving yards in 2019. He also caused some off-field issues with unexpected absences and at one point fueled rumors that he was unhappy with the organization. That alone sparked plenty of trade rumors, and if the Vikings decide they need to free up some cap space and trade a valuable player, that may play a role in any decision on Diggs.

Video: Stefon Diggs told Kirk Cousins not to force the ball to him

Stefon Diggs helmet

Stefon Diggs was visibly frustrated during the Minnesota Vikings’ win over the New Orleans Saints last weekend, and the assumption was that he was angry over his lack of involvement in the offense. However, the message the star receiver delivered to Kirk Cousins on the sideline told a different story.

Diggs said after the game that his frustration stemmed from the Saints double-covering him, and he insisted he always puts the team before himself. Some footage from the sideline seemed to support that, with Diggs telling Cousins to “play your game” and not feel like he has to force him the ball.

Diggs didn’t have any targets in the game at the time he threw his helmet in anger toward the sideline, so it’s possible his conversation with Cousins occurred shortly after that. Perhaps he realized that the Vikings were leading at the time and he didn’t want to become a distraction to the quarterback and the team.

There was a point early in the season when Diggs was clearly unhappy with his role, but he shouldn’t care how many targets he is drawing in a playoff game his team is winning. He will more than likely do a better job of controlling his emotions during Saturday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.