Stop If You’ve Heard This Before: Diggs Trade Talk

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The Buffalo Bills live in an awkward NFL spot: very obviously good enough to be considered a Super Bowl contender every year but habitually unable even to reach the sport’s championship game.

Stop If You’ve Heard This Before: Diggs Trade Talk

Such is life for the Bills in the last few years, and as of last season, Buffalo may have a new hurdle to encounter involving wide receiver Stefon Diggs. The veteran wide receiver’s production dipped at the year’s halfway point, signaling a possible age-related decline around the bend.

This Before
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Accordingly — and this is nothing new to the Diggs experience — trade talk linked to the former Minnesota Viking is already out in the digital stratosphere. Last weekend, ESPN offered a bold move for each NFL team, and for the Bills, that was a Diggs trade.

“At age 30, there are questions about whether Diggs is still that kind of No. 1 receiver. Diggs’ 2023 production declined from an average of 89 to 70 yards per game. In advanced stats, he dropped from third to 45th in receiving DVOA among qualified receivers (50 or more targets). Particularly notable was a drop in the average depth of target from 11.2 yards to 10.3 yards. He was still drawing targets like a No. 1 receiver, but he was getting them on shorter routes and doing less with them,” ESPN’s Aaron Schatz opined.

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Diggs finished 2023 with 107 receptions for 1,183 yards and 8 touchdowns, so his end-of-season numbers hardly reflected a miserable season. It’s just that his production waned from November to January.

Schatz continued, “The question is what the Bills can get for Diggs. He’s probably not going to garner a first-round pick. Teams know his age and that he’s in decline. There has never been a receiver who went from over 1,400 yards to under 1,200 yards and back to over 1,400 yards at age 30 or older. The closest was Reggie Wayne in 2010-2012, who went 1,355 to 960 to 1,355 again at the age of 34.”

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In all likelihood, the price for Diggs would probably check in around a 3rd- and 4th-Rounder or so (two picks), chiefly because the age concern is genuine. Some receivers decline right away in their 30s and never bounce back.

“The Bills would have to trade Diggs after June 1 or else he will cost them more on the salary cap. A post-June 1 trade would save them $19 million on the salary cap with $8.8 million in dead money,” Schatz concluded.

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If Buffalo traded Diggs, it would be tasked with a treacherous offseason to replace him. WR2 Gabriel Davis is already a free agent, and even if the Bills re-upped with Davis, he’s notorious for whole disappearing acts in games. The Bills would have to nail the draft at wide receiver or hope it could entice a free agent like Michael Pittman to join the squad. And that’s all while starting the offseason about $44 million underwater via the salary cap.

On the whole, you, the Vikings fan, have heard this before: a Diggs-themed trade talker. It’s probably on its way back this offseason — if it isn’t here already.

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