EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Stefon Diggs is expected to play for the Vikings on Sunday against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium, but that doesn’t mean the wide receiver won’t have to pay a price for his unexcused absences last week.
Diggs, who did not take part in Monday’s work, Wednesday’s practice or the mandatory meetings held on those days, was fined more than $200,000, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. Diggs did return for Thursday’s practice.
Diggs told reporters on Thursday that he missed the time because of an illness but the Vikings listed the reason he missed practice on Wednesday as “not injury related.” Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the Vikings could have voided Diggs’ $40 million in guarantees because he failed to practice but elected not to take that step.
— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) October 6, 2019
It’s no secret that Diggs has been frustrated with his role, or lack of one, in the Vikings’ offense.
He has 13 receptions for 209 yards with one touchdown on 19 targets this season as Minnesota has turned to the running game (and away from quarterback Kirk Cousins) in order to try to get the most from its offense. Last season, Diggs was second on the Vikings with 102 catches (149 targets) for 1,021 yards and nine touchdowns in 15 games.
Diggs declined to say on Thursday if he had requested a trade, but he did not deny his frustration. “There’s truth to all rumors,” he said. “So what I mean on that, so I can politely explain, is there’s a lot of speculation on me being frustrated. Of course, being a receiver and wanting to have success and wanting to win, if you want to win and you’re not winning, of course you’d be frustrated. That’s my answer.”
The Vikings are not likely to deal Diggs before the NFL trade deadline on Oct. 29, according to ESPN. Teams have contacted the Vikings and been told Diggs won’t be moved, according to the all-sports network. Diggs signed a five-year, $72 million contract with $40 million in guarantees in July 2018. That contract started with this season.
Stefon Diggs is expected to play for @Vikings, but when he had unexcused absences from practices on Monday and Wednesday, and all mandatory meetings, he ran his fine total in excess of $200,000, per sources. Team stance: No trade despite inquiries.
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) October 6, 2019
On the #Vikings and WR Stefon Diggs: Though they did fine him for missing meetings and practice, they did not void his $40M in guarantees, sources say. He failed to practice, so they could have by rule. But the team elected not to push that button for their home-grown talent.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 6, 2019