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

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Mike Florio
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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.

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

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Buffalo
+145+3O 53.5
Kansas City
-167-3U 53.5