Adam Thielen drew attention after Sunday’s game for expressing his frustration with the Minnesota Vikings’ offense.
Thielen isn’t the only Vikings receiver who isn’t happy.
Stefon Diggs had a curious non-injury related absence from practice on Wednesday. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport had a vague tweet on Thursday about Diggs’ “palpable” frustration with the team.
Rapoport also said Diggs’ teammates don’t know if he wants to be there anymore. This seems like a worrisome situation for the Vikings.
Stefon Diggs’ frustration is ‘palpable’
There have been rumblings about Diggs and a trade this week, though NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran said a source told him the Vikings aren’t making Diggs available for a trade.
Rapoport’s tweet on Thursday morning indicates there’s plenty going on behind the scenes.
On #Vikings WR Stefon Diggs: His frustration with the organization has been palpable. He was not at practice yesterday for non-injury reasons. Teammates are left wondering if he wants to be there. The team is adamant he is not available for a trade, barring some massive deal.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 3, 2019
The Vikings presumably don’t want to trade Diggs. He had 1,021 yards and nine touchdowns last season. He’s 25 years old. You generally don’t want to trade your best players in their primes.
But, like the situation with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Jalen Ramsey, what happens if a player wants out?
Vikings aren’t using their receivers
The Vikings fired offensive coordinator John DeFilippo during last season, and that led to a shift in offensive philosophy. Head coach Mike Zimmer wants to run the ball and play defense. The Vikings are a ground-and-pound team despite a quarterback with an $84 million contract, two 1,000-yard receivers and two-time Pro Bowl tight end Kyle Rudolph.
That’s why Thielen was frustrated after a 16-6 loss to the Chicago Bears last week. Playing a run-first style might work against the lesser teams on the Vikings’ schedule, but it also probably limits the Vikings’ ceiling.
If Diggs is frustrated, it’s not because of his contract. He got a five-year, $72 million deal last July. The timing is also a bit odd because last week Diggs had a seven-catch, 108-yard game. Unlike Thielen, who had two catches for six yards, Diggs was involved last week, though a lot of his production came late in the game.
If Diggs is as frustrated as Rapoport’s tweet suggests, the Vikings have a problem to figure out.
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