Dealing Diggs | News, Sports, Jobs



The Buffalo Bills are trading their top receiving threat, Stefon Diggs, to the Houston Texans in a deal that was agreed to on Wednesday, a person with knowledge of the discussions confirmed to The Associated Press.
AP photo

ORCHARD PARK — Whether or not he knew a trade to the Houston Texans was in the works, Stefon Diggs’ tenure with the Bills ended with a two-word question, summing up, perhaps, why the mercurial receiver’s commitment to Buffalo was frequently scrutinized.

“You sure?” Diggs posted on X on Tuesday night in response to someone suggesting he wasn’t essential to quarterback Josh Allen’s success. The Bills and everyone else are now about to find out how Allen fares without his favorite target after Buffalo agreed to trade Diggs to the Houston Texans on Wednesday.

As part of the deal, the Bills acquired the Texans’ second-round pick in the 2025 draft, which Houston acquired in a trade with Minnesota. Houston also acquired Buffalo’s sixth-round pick in this year’s draft, and a fifth-rounder in 2025.

The Texans add an established playmaker, who has topped 1,000 yards receiving in each of his past six seasons, to a receiver group already featuring Nico Collins and Tank Dell. Collins led Houston with 80 receptions for 1,297 yards and eight touchdowns last season. The Texans went worst to first in the AFC South under first-year coach DeMeco Ryans and AP Offensive Rookie of the Year C.J. Stroud.

For the Bills, Diggs’ departure has the potential of putting a major dent in the team’s chances to contend for a fifth straight AFC East title, something general manager Brandon Beane acknowledged.

“Are we better today? Probably not. It’s a work in progress. And we will continue to work on that,” Beane said, noting his roster is hardly finalized and the season doesn’t start for another five months.

“Let’s be patient and let us work through this,” he added “Was it easy? No. But if you make the best decision for the Bills moving forward, that’s what you do. And you trust that.”

Beane otherwise declined to go into detail into what prompted a move that breaks up an Allen-Diggs tandem that spent the past four seasons rewriting the team’s offensive records.

Buffalo has another big hole to fill at receiver after also losing starter Gabe Davis to free agency. Second-year receiver Khalil Shakir returns, while Buffalo added free agents Curtis Samuel and Mack Hollins.

The 30-year-old Diggs has nine years of NFL experience and topped 1,000 yards in each of his past six seasons. In his first season in Buffalo, he became the Bills’ first player to lead the league in both yards receiving (1,535) and catches (127). Overall, he has 1,178 catches for 9,995 yards and 67 touchdowns since being selected by the Vikings in the fifth round of the 2015 draft out of Maryland.

In an offseason where Beane focused on slashing a bloated payroll, by cutting key players to get under the salary cap, trading Diggs actually adds more than $3 million to Buffalo’s total this year. The benefit is the Bills do get out of paying Diggs his $18.5 million guaranteed salary in 2024 and will now have no salary cap charge for him in 2025.

Another issue involving Diggs were growing questions over whether he had worn out his welcome in Buffalo, similar to the concerns that were raised that led to the Vikings trading him to the Bills in March 2020.

Accomplished as Diggs was in leading Buffalo in receiving in each of his four seasons, his sideline outbursts and cryptic messages posted on social media had become a growing distraction.

Though voted a two-time captain, Diggs was unable to contain his frustrations. The most notable moment came following a 27-10 loss to Cincinnati in the divisional round of the playoffs in the 2022 season, when Diggs left the Bills locker room before coach Sean McDermott had a chance to address the team.

Though Diggs was coaxed back by teammate Duke Johnson, the receiver’s frustrations carried into the offseason. He raised further questions about his status by not attending the team’s offseason voluntary workout programs.

Confusion then arose when Diggs wasn’t present for the Bills’ first mandatory practice and McDermott said he was “concerned” about the player’s absence. A day later, McDermott corrected himself by saying Diggs was excused from practice, but was present at the facility to discuss lingering issues that stemmed from the previous season.

In November, Diggs reiterated his commitment to the Bills by saying he wanted to retire in Buffalo after his brother, Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs, posted messages on X, formally Twitter, urging Stefon to leave the team.

“They’ve never questioned me as a player, and as a man of what I bring to the table,” Diggs said at the time, referring to his teammates. “So me being fully invested has never really been in question.”

Diggs had his shining moments. The most memorable was him immediately heading to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center to be with Damar Hamlin after the safety went into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated on the field during a game against the Bengals in January 2022.

Too often, however, it was left to Diggs’ teammates coming to the receiver’s defense, as Von Miller did last year.

On Wednesday, Beane acknowledged Diggs’ competitive nature by saying “I wouldn’t want to change that for him,” before adding he took everything into account when making the trade.

“Certain things need to be kept in-house as far as how a decision was made or what all factors in specifically,” Beane said. “I think you just have to trust that this decision was made in the best interest of the Bills going forward.”



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