Long-Time Vikings Trade Debate Settled

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Jan 15, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; A Buffalo Bills fan. © Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports.

It made no sense whatsoever to do it right away, but the NFL community debated the merits of the Stefon Diggs trade four years ago when the superstar wideout was shipped to Buffalo for draft picks.

Long-Time Vikings Trade Debate Settled

Examining any trade or draft pick in the days after the swap or selection is stupid, but after four years of sample, plus a splashy trade on Wednesday, a verdict can be rendered.

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With the caveat that the Bills were the more successful team since the start of 2020, the Minnesota Vikings “won the trade” involving Diggs and draft picks. Here’s the trade haul from 2020:

Vikings Got:
Justin Jefferson
Camryn Bynum
Kenny Willekes
Janarius Robinson
Zach Davidson

Bills Got:
Stefon Diggs
Dane Jackson

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ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted Wednesday morning, “Blockbuster: Bills are finalizing a trade to send four-time Pro-Bowl WR Stefon Diggs to the Houston Texans for draft-pick compensation, sources tell ESPN.”

After four productive seasons in Buffalo — but no Super Bowl triumphs or appearances — Diggs is on the move to another AFC contender. In Houston, he’ll join an affluent offensive team, a part of a weapon stable already including Nico Collins and Tank Dell. Houston is loading up for four more years of C.J. Stroud’s rookie contract.

For their troubles, the Bills shipped Diggs, a 2024 6th-Rounder, and a 2025 5th-Rounder to Houston.

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On the trade “winner,” Diggs and Jackson no longer play for Buffalo, as Diggs is a Texan, and Jackson joined the Carolina Panthers last month.

Therefore, the trade haul can be viewed like this:

Vikings Got:
Justin Jefferson
Camryn Bynum
35-32 W/L Record
● 0 Super Bowl Appearances

Bills Got:
2025 2nd-Round Pick
48-18 W/L Record
● 0 Super Bowl Appearances

Texans Got:
Stefon Diggs
2024 6th-Rounder
2025 5th-Rounder

A possible rebuttal to the trade-winner verdict might be the Bills’ team success, which is fair. With Diggs on the roster, Buffalo lost in the AFC Championship during the 2020 season and has now lost three consecutive Divisional Round postseason appearances, unable to get past the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals.

If reaching the Divisional Round of the postseason is the grand endgame, sure — Buffalo might’ve “won the trade.” Although, most Bills fans probably won’t consider back-to-back-to-back Divisional Round gaffes very appealing.

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Minnesota, meanwhile, will extend Justin Jefferson for the long haul in the next few months, and Camryn Bynum has morphed into a starting safety. Jefferson is widely considered the NFL’s top wide receiver, and any trade involving such a commodity tips the scale in his team’s favor.

Fair points existed in the last few seasons about “Who won the Bills-Vikings trade?” But after the Diggs trade to Houston on Wednesday, only fringe thinkers would hold onto Buffalo as the victor.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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