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Brandon Beane: I firmly believe Stefon Diggs is a No. 1 receiver

There were times in the offseason when it looked like the Bills and wide receiver Stefon Diggs might be headed for a split, but General Manager Brandon Beane said in August that was never the case despite a rocky offseason.

Diggs remained in a prominent role in the Bills offense and it looked like he was headed for a huge year with 49 catches for 620 yards and five touchdowns in the first six weeks of the season. Diggs had 58 catches for 563 yards and three touchdowns over the final 11 regular season games, however, and he didn't catch a touchdown after the end of November.

Sunday's playoff loss to the Chiefs saw him catch three passes for 21 yards and his most memorable play of the game was a drop on a deep ball from Josh Allen with the Bills down 27-24 in the fourth quarter. The drop in production led to General Manager Brandon Beane being asked at a Tuesday press conference if he still thinks Diggs is a No. 1 receiver.

"He's a No. 1 receiver. I firmly believe that. I'm not wavering off of that," Beane said. "I think teams — Listen, we have to continue to put weapons out there to keep teams from bracketing him or locking him down in different ways to take him away. They know you’re gonna want to — Stef can still play. I'm sure he would love to have that deep ball again. He'd be the first to tell you. He's super competitive. He's going to work his tail off this offseason. I know there's various reasons or questions on this, there's production and all that, but I still see Stef as a No. 1 receiver."

Diggs' $18.5 million salary becomes guaranteed at the start of the league year, but they'd have to make him a post-June 1 cut to see any cap relief and the team would have a hard time filling his shoes given that they're already projected to be over the cap. That suggests Diggs will be part of the plan to stay the course and hope that things break the Bills' way the next time around.