Why Stefon Diggs’ Trade Should Not Surprise Vikings Fans

Stefon Diggs has been cultivating a reputation as one of the best receivers in pro football for a couple of years now, but Vikings’ fans upset at his recent switch to the Bills need not be too downhearted.

Diggs has helped the Vikings to the playoffs three times during his stay there, following on from a breakout rookie season to establish himself as a top talent. Coming from college football in Maryland, Diggs impressed in his early outings and has gone on to prove himself more than capable of pushing a team’s offense.

The Vikings seemed happy to trade him with the Bills, with NBC reporting the deal to include a first-round pick (22nd overall), a fifth-round pick, a sixth-round pick and a 2021 fourth-round pick from the Bills. It’s a strong offer they couldn’t refuse, not when you consider the writing has been on the wall for him.

Vikings fans shouldn’t be surprised that their receiver is on the move, despite finishing the year with a career-high 1,130 receiving yards. There have been hints at him pushing for a trade behind the scenes and perhaps he no longer fits with the Vikings running offense.

Neither the Bills nor the Vikings are expected to progress beyond the playoffs at best, although Diggs will boost a passing attack which was 26th in the NFL last season. As for the team Diggs is leaving, Bwin Sports has them as 9th favorites for the Super Bowl next season but with players yet to join, few can truly predict how successful the Vikings might be. Now they can attract four younger, cheaper players who might just form the core of a new-look side building for the future.

They’re not going to be highly fancied to stop the Chiefs from retaining the title they won back in February, but the long game is certainly to give them a chance of a first Super Bowl appearance since 1976.

Diggs’ future has been the subject of speculation for some time now. In October, he missed out on a practice session without letting anyone know, according to The Viking Age. He allegedly said he had a cold but was fined a whopping $200,000 before claiming that there was ‘truth to all rumors’ when asked if he wanted a trade. That came after he missed Minnesota’s OTAs last year, an early sign he wanted out.

It isn’t the worst time to be losing Diggs, with a host of receivers ready to come off the board this year. CeeDee Lamb is likely to be amongst the first drafted this year, but former Alabama Crimson Tide’s Jerry Jeudy is also likely to be a top target, reports Draft Kings, as is former LSU receiver Justin Jefferson. Even the second round boasts some impressive prospects which is why the Vikings likely chose to move Diggs on now.

With Kevin Stefanski and Gary Kubiak looking to develop an attack based more around a solid rush than anything, Diggs had far fewer targets but was till amongst the top earners after signing a $72m extension in 2018. It seems in an effort to progress and evolve, Head Coach Mike Zimmer has taken a big decision.

Despite the strong development Diggs has shown, this is a calculated gamble by the Vikings which is likely to pay off in the long run, especially if they choose to exploit that exciting first draft.

AFI
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