Minnesota Vikings wide receiver, and former BFF/one half of what we thought was a too good to be true bromance betwixt him and Buffalo Bills wide receiver/future headache Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen was on KFAN yesterday (click here to read more about that) and made his first public comments since Diggs was traded to Buffalo in a blockbuster trade.
Thielen had been tight-lipped regarding Diggs’ behavior as a Viking, so Vikings fans/writers were waiting with bated/probable evidence of sleep apnea breath to hear what Thielen had to say about the trade. Was he in on it? Did he agree with it? Was he upset? Was he also now unhappy in Minnesota?
Well, luckily we have some idea (or at least a better idea) as Thielen discussed his thoughts on the trade, per NFL.com (as transcribed by the Pioneer Press):
“Obviously, it’s a bummer that he’s not here because it was such a fun duo to be able to work off one another and things like that, whether it be practice or games. So, I’m definitely going to miss that, but it will be fun to see him have success somewhere else.”
Both Diggs and Thielen did interact a bit on Twitter or Instagram after the trade, lauding one another and talking about how they’d miss each other. That interaction was started by Thielen, though, with Diggs really not doing a whole lot to thank the Vikings or their fans after he forced his way out for, as I wrote about at the time, purely selfish reasons.
Despite my apparent disagreement with how Diggs conducted himself, Thielen apparently feels differently (or at least didn’t think going public with any disagreement would do anything but cause more distraction for a franchise that traded Diggs to get away from his ego). He continued on KFAN:
“I have so much respect for him of how hard he works, how he approaches the game of football. I’ve learned so much from him as far as a receiver, how to run routes, different things like that. … We’ve talked since he got traded. … He is one of my good friends and will be for the rest of our lives.”
He’s not wrong that Diggs does work hard, and he runs immaculate routes and really (outside of the obvious) does everything the right way on the field (anyway). That’s what makes this situation so awful, as while the Vikings did get the NFL trade equivalent of a king’s ransom for Diggs, he’s going to be almost impossible to replace as while he was the biggest deep threat on the roster/perhaps in the NFL, he also was a very complete receiver who can essentially do everything you’d ask of a receiver (perhaps outside of jump balls or being super physical with DBs).
It was reported that the Vikings had zero interest in trading Diggs for that reason. They changed their minds, though, when Diggs’ behavior seemed to be never-ending and also increasing in severity and they were also given an offer from the Bills that they just couldn’t refuse. That having been said, as we’ve seen during the Spielman era especially (either as part of the ‘Triangle of Authority’ or otherwise), this team didn’t come anywhere near replacing the output of Randy Moss until they drafted Diggs a full DECADE after the craptacular trade with the Oakland Raiders.
They will most likely use one of their first-round picks on a receiver, and because Diggs was the more dangerous (down the field) of the above-mentioned “duo”, they will most likely end up drafting a more one-note/dimensional deep threat than the more complete budding superstar that Diggs either was or at least thought he was.
Then again, we’re talking about a receiver who peaked at 1,100 yards and who had never made the Pro Bowl (although in his defense the Vikings haven’t had a lot (or any) continuity on offense from either the quarterback position or the offensive coordinator gig), so maybe this is just me being sad about my former favorite (current) Viking devolving into some poor man’s Antonio Brown.
At least Thielen has a positive outlook on everything.
That sounded sarcastic and catty, but I meant it. The last thing this team needs is for Thielen to catch whatever Diggs was spreading. I give that exactly a 0.001% chance of happening, though, as Thielen is a Minnesota guy and he’s essentially living his dream by playing for the purple and gold. Just like Diggs is, by ending up in BUFFALO.
Now THAT was sarcastic and catty.