The Vikings’ trade of Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills was completed Saturday (in terms of official compensation) during the final rounds of the 2021 NFL draft. On Sunday, the wide receiver took to Twitter to again make it clear how thrilled he is to no longer be playing for the Vikings.
This came after Bills general manager Brandon Beane talked about not having a fourth-round pick in this year’s draft. “I’m finally done paying for Stefon Diggs,” Beane said. “Glad it’s over.”
Diggs, seeing that quote, tweeted the following.
😂😂 if it wasn’t for Beane my ass would still be in the sota me and him forever locked in 💙❤️🙏🏾 https://t.co/F5PmUIVUyJ
— DIGGS (@stefondiggs) May 2, 2021
It was no secret Diggs had grown unhappy with his role in Minnesota’s offense and didn’t agree with a system that often relied on the running game. Diggs’ desire to get out of Minnesota led to him being traded in March 2020. His 127 catches (on 166 targets) for 1,535 yards led the NFL last season as he become quarterback Josh Allen’s main target. He also had eight touchdown receptions as the Bills went 13-3 to win the AFC East and advanced to the conference title game. Kansas City beat the Bills, 38-24, to go to the Super Bowl.
Diggs continuing to take shots at the Vikings might be an issue for Minnesota fans, except for Vikings general manager Rick Spielman got such a good return in the deal.
The marquee piece of the return was the 22nd pick in the first round of the 2020 draft. Spielman turned that into wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who set the NFL rookie record for receiving yards, breaking Anquan Boldin’s mark of 1,377 that was established in 2003. The fact Jefferson still has four years remaining on his rookie contract, including the fifth-year option, means his production will come at an incredibly reasonable price for at least a few more years.
The first-round selection was one of three 2020 draft picks the Bills sent to Minnesota in the trade. There also was a fourth-round pick this year. Spielman turned those picks into four players besides Jefferson through his wheeling and dealing.
Defensive end Kenny Willekes, a seventh-round pick last year, spent 2020 on injured reserve because of a leg injury. The Vikings then had three picks from the Diggs trade this year. (Read this if you want to know how they turned 2020 picks into 2021 selections.) They were used on fourth-round safety Camryn Bynum of California; fourth round defensive end Janarius Robinson of Florida State; and fifth-round tight end Zach Davidson of Division II Central Missouri.
Spielman deserves credit for getting so much from Buffalo, when Diggs had made it clear he wanted out. Spielman also was fortunate that four teams passed on Jefferson to take other wide receivers in the first round. Diggs’ desire to escape from Minnesota also has proven to be wise. He was far more productive with the Bills than he would have been with the Vikings.
But Diggs continuing to take digs at his former team would cut far deeper if Jefferson wasn’t wearing purple.