The one question us “butt hurt” Minnesota Vikings fans (something Stefon Diggs ‘lol’d’ at on Twitter recently) have before thankfully being able to stop thinking about Stefon Diggs until Adam Thielen’s ‘Ring of Honor’ induction video montage many years from now is how his first (and based on his reaction to playing with one of the most accurate passers in NFL history who also finally got him over the 1k yardage total in Kirk Cousins), and probably last, full season in Buffalo will go.
While no one has a crystal ball, yet, the sports betting world is about to as close as we can get as they remove any bias or emotion (well, that’s not entirely fair as that does factor into their odds as they also want people to bet within reason/profitability) in general but especially when it comes to individual prop bets.
Enter the over/under for Diggs’ 2020, which I nabbed from one of the best crypto betting sites, as, I’d really like to retire at 35. Since I turned 36, it’s going to take the type of money Rebel Wilson had to make people think she was somehow in her late 20’s despite being in Ghost Rider back when Nicholas Cage had credibility.
Let’s take a look at what those out at the best crypto betting sites are saying about Diggs’ 2020. First, some (depressing) context…
Diggs was rewarded with a contract that’ll bring him $14.5 million a season the next THREE years despite the fact that he had missed at least two games a season and, at the time of the extension, had yet to eclipse 1,000 yards receiving.
While it’d be revisionist of me to blame Diggs for that fact, as the Vikings had a rotating door at both quarterback and offensive coordinator during those years, they found continuity at at least the QB spot by signing Kirk Cousins prior to the 2018 season.
That season was uncoincidentally the first year that Diggs eclipsed 1,000 yards, by way of over 100 grabs on the season. He bested that in 2019, going over 1,100 yards on far less catches, but upping his average yards per catch number by almost double (exactly 10 yards in 2018 to 17.9 in 2019). He also had 15 touchdowns total over those two campaigns.
If that’s Diggs at his best, and he’s going from Cousins (one of the most accurate QBs in the league) to Josh Allen (the Josh Allen of QBs), what do those in the betting world (the least “butt hurt” of the NFL predictors) think about Diggs’ first season in the town famous for turning meat products that used to be thrown away into meat products that should be thrown away?
His O/U season stat lines in Buffalo have his receiving yards at 1,049.5 and touchdowns at 6.5.
So, more of the same.
That could be written off as a prediction that basically averaged out Diggs last two seasons, as it’s hard to know what to expect with all the variables that exist in a situation like this.
Or, one could look at this and say that Diggs forced his way out because he felt that his production was stifled in Minny. That despite the huge contract that was disproportionate to his output and health, and the NFC Championship appearance and win over the Saints, Diggs felt like he should be putting up Antonio Brown in his prime numbers and because of Adam Thielen and the system the Vikings runs, he wasn’t.
While that’s the definition of being selfish (as they still paid him like he was Brown), outside of the fact that he could’ve been better known and those more marketable in the sponsorship world (which is still selfish but he has a right to make as much money as possible), I’d be lying if I said that I wouldn’t be surprised if Diggs did put up monster numbers… Had he been traded to a team like Tampa or New Orleans.
Despite all of the positive news out of Buffalo about Diggs and Allen lighting up camp, I just don’t see Diggs besting his 2019 campaign. He was the guy for the majority of 2019, as Thielen was hurt and then limited thanks to a hammy. Cousins didn’t have a ton of time to get rid of the ball, but he also mirrored Patrick Mahomes’ 2018 MVP season from Weeks 5 onward.
So, Diggs may be the guy in Buffalo but that also means teams can double or triple him. That means Allen will have to hit him down the field/in-stride AND in windows that only Diggs can make a play on. Does that sound like Allen’s motis operandi?
It’s really too bad. As this all feels like, to me, that Diggs’ career will end up like Antonio Browns’, but in terms of using social media to force a trade only to end up out of the league while still in his prime.
The O/U for that? 18 months.
But then again, my butt hurts. So, grain of salt.