Oct 30, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Payments large receiver Stefon Diggs. Obligatory Credit score: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports activities.
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The Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Payments will face one another on Sunday, marking the primary time Stefon Diggs has confronted his former staff since forcing a commerce after the 2019 season.
Diggs spent 5 seasons with the staff after being chosen within the fifth spherical (146th total) throughout the 2015 draft. In 70 video games whereas with the purple and gold, Diggs totaled 365 receptions for 4,623 yards and 30 touchdowns. In 2018, he had 102 receptions and 9 touchdowns (his greatest in Minnesota).
His most important second with the franchise, although, was throughout the 2017 Divisional Spherical in opposition to the New Orleans Saints when he scored a game-winning landing as time expired — the well-known Minneapolis Miracle. That may at all times be one of many greatest moments in staff historical past and one of many craziest endings in NFL historical past.
Dwelling in a run-heavy offense, nonetheless, annoyed Diggs, and he requested for a commerce. Minnesota was in a position to get a first-round draft decide within the commerce.
Wanting again on the commerce, how did it go?
Nicely, it has labored out for each groups. Buffalo has gained their division in every of the previous two seasons and has a official shot at profitable the Tremendous Bowl this season. Earlier than Diggs’ arrival, that they had not gained a playoff sport since 1995. Diggs has undoubtedly performed an enormous function in Buffalo’s improved play since.
He has additionally been focused extra there than he was in Minnesota. His 127 receptions and 1,535 yards have been each league-highs in 2020, and his 7 landing receptions this season lead the league.
Minnesota drafted Justin Jefferson with the twenty second total decide from Buffalo. That draft was loaded with gifted large receivers, but it surely was, after all, nonetheless unknown if Jefferson would pan out. You by no means know what you’re getting within the draft.
Jefferson has been among the finest large receivers within the league since he was a rookie, and whereas Minnesota has not made the playoffs with him, they nonetheless benefited from this commerce as nicely.
In 41 profession video games, Jefferson has totaled 255 yards and 20 touchdowns. He’s additionally 5 years youthful than Diggs and has been less expensive. Sure, he’ll get massive bucks quickly (whether or not it’s his present staff or not), however he’s nonetheless on his rookie deal.
Listed here are each his and Diggs’ salaries since 2020:
In 2024, Jefferson can be within the remaining 12 months of his rookie deal and can be due $4,175,437. Diggs is just not scheduled to be a free agent till after the 2027 season and is owed over $20 million in every season after this 12 months.
Jefferson making much less cash than Diggs has made it simpler to signal free brokers equivalent to Dalvin Tomlinson, Harrison Phillips, and Za’Darius Smith. It has additionally made it simpler to re-sign their key gamers, equivalent to Danielle Hunter, Dalvin Cook dinner, Eric Kendricks, and Harrison Smith.
It’s by no means straightforward for a staff to lose a star participant, however it’s simply how the enterprise works typically. Fortuitously for the Vikings, although, they discovered a alternative that’s youthful and less expensive. He can also go down as a greater participant than Diggs. On the very least, will probably be very shut between the 2. If he can keep in Minnesota for years to come back, the commerce will preserve trying higher.
Perhaps sometime Jefferson may even assist them win their first Tremendous Bowl. Perhaps Diggs will do the identical along with his present staff this season or in one other season.
What if the Philadelphia Eagles drafted Jefferson and the Vikings took Jalen Reagor as a substitute (Reagor, after all, is a Viking now in any case)? The commerce definitely wouldn’t have regarded excellent. They needed to transfer on both approach. Diggs didn’t need to keep, so that they needed to transfer on and get one thing in return for him. Whereas an excellent participant, Diggs grew to become a diva in his remaining season with the staff. Maintaining him in Minnesota for even yet another season might have made issues very ugly.
As a staff, Minnesota is lastly profitable video games with Jefferson which has made issues even higher. As soon as once more, this commerce was a win-win for each groups. Many Vikings followers should like Diggs, however having Jefferson has definitely made it simpler to maneuver on from their different cherished receiver.
Some followers are form of bitter with how Diggs dealt with issues throughout his remaining season with the staff, however his play throughout his 5 seasons and that massive landing catch won’t ever be forgotten.
Seeing each gamers in the identical sport can be an actual deal with.
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