Stefon Diggs on departure from Minnesota: “[I]f you want to have success, you’ve got to catch the ball”

Pittsburgh Steelers v Buffalo Bills
Getty Images

Some believe that Bills receiver Stefon Diggs wanted out of Minnesota because of quarterback Kirk Cousins; the fact that Diggs made his push to be traded on the same day the Vikings gave Cousins a $33 million contract bolstered that perception. In a new interview with ESPN.com, Diggs attributes his desire for a new team to a desire to catch the football.

“People have a common misconception that I don’t love my old team,” Diggs told Sam Borden of ESPN.com. “I have nothing but love and respect for those guys. But where they were and where they were headed . . . in my eyes, it wasn’t going to be in the best interest of my career. As a receiver, if you want to have success, you’ve got to catch the ball.”

Presumably, Diggs means that the Vikings were becoming a team that focused on the run, despite the huge investment in the quarterback position. Diggs also didn’t like what he was hearing from management.

“I’m not gonna say [they were] peeing on me and telling me that it’s raining,” Diggs said. “That’s a little bit harsh. . . .  But something like that. . . . Once you don’t have trust with a person, it’s hard to do business.”

Frankly, it’s hard to know with any certainty whether Diggs wanted out because the Vikings planned to skew toward the running game, or whether he’s creating that impression because it would be unseemly to say, for example, that he doesn’t believe in a quarterback in whom the team believes to the tune of $33 million per year. Regardless, Diggs didn’t think he’d get the ball thrown his way enough times, and he didn’t believe that was “in the best interest of my career.”

Looking at the numbers, Diggs may have become alarmed by a steep drop in targets from 149 in 2018 (9.9 per game for 15 games) to 94 in 2019 (6.2 per game for 15 games). That speaks to the changes made once Gary Kubiak arrived and began to influence the offense.

Currently, Diggs is getting the ball thrown his way, plenty; Diggs has been targeted 134 times in 13 games, an average of more than 10 per game. And the trade has worked out for the Bills. It also has worked out for the Vikings, who have a future star in receiver Justin Jefferson.

Unless and until Jefferson does the math and realizes he has been targeted, on average, 7.07 times per game.

36 responses to “Stefon Diggs on departure from Minnesota: “[I]f you want to have success, you’ve got to catch the ball”

  1. All I know is I am glad he is a Buffalo Bill.I actually wanted the Bills to trade for him a year earlier.

  2. And if Dalvin Cook didn’t get his carries, then he would be upset..it seems egos are much more prevalent in wide receivers.both are all pro players.i wish the Miracle catch man the best,but I’ll take the peace with Jefferson

  3. “It also has worked out for the Vikings, who have a future star in receiver Justin Jefferson.”
    ———————

    What do you mean “future” star? His rookie year production is already surpassing whatever Diggs did in Minnesota in both yards and TDs. And will cost $40m LESS over the next four years.

  4. The reality is (and I’m a little amazed the Diggs does not understand this as a football player) the Vikings with their current personnel (and lack therof) are BEST suited to win as a “run first” team.
    They have a poor pass blocking O-line
    This results in Cousins (who needs a clean pocket) having little time to throw
    With all the injures they have had on defense, the need to control the ball to protect the defense.
    This worked in wins over GB, Detroit, Chicago (and SHOULD Have over TB)

    If Diggs was in Minny this year, he would have been pouting and taking his helmet off and skipping practice and whining that he “just wants to win”

    His QB being battered with no time to throw it to his ridiculously deep routes be damned….

  5. It seems like it was in the best interest for everyone. Cousins and Kubiak aren’t going anywhere.

  6. It’s only a matter of time until Jefferson gets tired of embracing the suck and starts working his way out of Minnesota too.
    You can only take so much of that losing culture they foster over there, until you begin to yearn for more.
    Something more. Anything

    Especially after those sideline tiffs Cousins is always getting into with his teammates, just ask Thielen and Cook.
    Just a terrible, garbage team from top to bottom.
    Can’t even wrap up that charity playoff spot the NFL added this year. 🤣

  7. Saved 40 million, got a better receiver on a rookie deal, extra draft picks and got rid of a malcontent…now that’s how a World Class organization runs a team…

  8. Its simple – Money: Diggs contract has 9 million dollars in escalators based off catches and yards. He didn’t think he would get that money with a run based offense and Thielen on the team.
    In pro sports it always about the money

  9. Oh for the days when the Vikes were a force, making several SBs, HC Bud Grant in subfreezing temperatures in short sleeves exuding calm will and toughness. Now the Vikes celebrate a single victory over the Pack as their ticket to Disneyland.

  10. What a bad move. He could have stayed with the Vikings and made a consistent run deep into the playoffs like they usually do.

  11. Diggs is a great player and I appreciate everything he did for the Vikings, but I don’t miss him.

  12. Diggs is a good player, but it took diggs 5 years in the league to equal or best as many receiving yards jefferson has in his rookie season not to mention jefferson didnt even crack the starting line up till week 3. People can crack on cousins all they want but facts are cousins is going to throw for over 30 tds an close if not over 4k in yards. The vikings saved a boat load of cash trading diggs an got a player his equal so far plus other draft picks…i think its a win win for both teams an leave it at that.

  13. The Bills are winning because they have an elite QB. Diggs was smart if he left Minnesota because he thought it was futile with Cousins. He would be correct. But anyone can catch the ball. Not anyone can throw the ball. If you put Josh Allen on the Vikings, they’d be winning.

  14. Wait…They are paying Cousins $33 million a year! Wow, that is why there team is made up of rookies.

  15. Alan Light says:
    December 17, 2020 at 2:26 pm

    Saved 40 million, got a better receiver on a rookie deal, extra draft picks and got rid of a malcontent…now that’s how a World Class organization runs a team…
    ***********
    6-7, huh? 🤣

  16. And there it is: “If you want to have success as a receiver, you have to catch the ball.” Not interested in helping a team succeed, just himself. That completely sums up Digg’s “me” philosophy. Honestly, I think his leaving has as much to do with Thielen as it does with Cousins. He knew that he would never be as beloved as Adam on and off the field and that he would always have to share the spotlight. This was about ego, not success.

  17. As a neutral observer I have one question: Who will win a SB first, the Bills or the Vikings? Actually two questions – if it happens, will Diggs and Jefferson still be with their respective teams?

  18. Diggs came to Buffalo and made Allen better, Beasley better, Smoke Brown and Gabe Davis better. Not one moment of diva…just love and respect to and from his fellow Bills.

  19. This reminds me of some of the trades the Bills made prior to their SB runs in the ’90’s.

    A true game-changer. I remember when the trade was made, there was a lot of “he won’t be happy w/ Allen” chatter. Now, Allen is in the MVP convo, and Diggs is being talked about as the best WR in the league.

    He’s fast becoming one of my favorite Bills. And what people don’t see is how unselfish he is – he has made plays on the field that no one hears about. He’s a great teammate, and a real leader out there.

  20. Good for Diggs, good for the Vikings — worked out both ways. So I see the dopes from out east have now shifted to the Vikings record (in a rebuilding year of all things) rather than the lame innacurate line that Diggs left because of Cousins. As was clear months ago, and now confirmed, he left cause the Vikings focused more on the run than the pass, and not because of the QB. Read between the lines and you will see one of the reasons I’m glad he’s gone — putting his stats ahead of that of the team. As to his claim that teams have to pass to win — check out the top running teams and then check out those that are playoff bound, and you’ll see Diggs is mistaken (not to mention the Vikings’ passing game is just fine by DVOA and yardage). Not all teams can have HOF QBs to cover their warts, and not all teams can have them back to back with as little SB success as out east — but go ahead and trash the Vikings record right before the Rodgerers waste another HOF year.

  21. And like Buffalo is going anywhere? By the end of both players career, I bet Jefferson is a HOF. Diggs? Never.

  22. now that’s how a World Class organization runs a team…

    +++++

    You might want to encourage the World Class organization to break .500. Just sayin.

  23. It’s a shame the Vikings are wasting the another year of the 6th highest rates QB of all time. Look it up.

  24. I’m happy Diggs is starting to walk back some of his criticism. I think that every fan of the Vikings, was a fan of Stefon Diggs. He outplayed a team friendly contract, and at 26 years old, you can’t blame the guy for wanting more money. These guys only get one big career contract before it’s 1-2 year deals, and he’s a top flight guy that came from the 5th round, was so good he got his brother onto the Alabama football team, and he was a first round pick. Trevon is the only corner I would have rather had than Jeff Gladney at that spot. Also, at 26, the guy has got to want to be on a winner, and after that beat down by SF, it looked like the defense needed a complete overhaul. Kirk Cousins is a quarterback whose more like Trent Dilfer than he is 2017 SB Nick Foles. And then, the Vikings go out and draft the best wide receiver we’ve seen in the past 20 years… ( if you haven’t seen this guy, you can’t make the assessment based on numbers, he’s got speed, he’s got routes, he’s got moves, he’s got power, and he’s not injury prone ) I’m really happy for Stefon that things are working out for him. He’s not that big of a diva compared to TO, Randy Moss, AB. He’s definitely the best route runner I’ve ever seen, and he has massive cartoonish looking hands. I’m proud of this guy for landing on a team that was looking to take the offense to the next level, and he gets there, and does exactly that. I’ll be pulling for Buffalo in the championship game and the Super Bowl if they get there. They have a 2-3 window open right now, and don’t forget they got Les Frazier as a DC.

  25. To all you Vikings fans coming out to rip Stefon Diggs… How do you cut down a guy, who was the reason this team even had a offense for 2-3 years, gave us the Minneapolis Miracle, and was unaffordable but took a team friendly deal, then turned around and gave us his successor in Justin Jefferson. He didn’t sit out of training camp. He didn’t cause unsolveable problems with the team when , after hearing about what happened, he really could’ve. But instead, he kept going hard and even torched Richard Sherman for one last hurrah before leaving…. The guy was the best Vikings WR since Randy Moss, and yet you still want to cut him down for wanting to make what he’s worth, and have the ball thrown to him the amount of times that he rates… Before all this went down, I was saying, trade cousins, not Diggs.. Because all along, I’ve known how good he was. He absolutely torches double teams routinely, on every level. Short, middle, deep, outside, inside… This kindof attention and money is exactly what he deserved, he wasn’t getting it… It was laughable those who thought Theilen was 1A, Diggs was 1B, when Diggs had a similar effect on defenses that Randy Moss had ( not 3-men brackets, but constant double coverage ). It was simple for me to see when injuries occurred to Theilen and Diggs. Without Diggs, the offense was frozen . Without Theilen, Diggs put up All-Pro numbers. No offense to Theilen, but even he probably knows that Diggs is on another level. Theilen is getting a little older, but has great hands, great body control, and runs good routes. He’s not gonna take the top off of a double team, but he commands attention, can not be covered by a linebacker, and routinely makes contested catches… So all you haters, please stop slamming Diggs for going out and getting what he deserved. Any team would be lucky to have Stefon Diggs on the roster for the next 3 years at least

  26. If Diggs weren’t having a breakout season he wouldn’t share one word. But now, he’s everybody’s friend. I call BS.

  27. 81TinaKane says:
    December 17, 2020 at 2:46 pm
    ……. People can crack on cousins all they want but facts are cousins is going to throw for over 30 tds an close if not over 4k in yards.
    ——————————————–
    And unlike Viking fans, people all over the NFL are well aware that 2000 of those passing yds and 20 of those TDs will come in garbage time like they always do with Cousins….face up to it. The Vikings WAY overpaid for Cousins and he will never so much as sniff the SB much less actually play in it…

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.