NFL Insider Reveals Eagles Were ‘In the Mix’ to Land Stefon Diggs

Stefon Diggs has been traded to the Buffalo Bills

Getty Stefon Diggs has been traded to the Buffalo Bills

The Eagles almost had a shiny speed threat to pair with Jalen Reagor. Until the Bills tarnished the opportunity.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Philadelphia attempted to make a trade for Stefon Diggs in March. The plugged-in reporter revealed that the Eagles were a “little bit kind of in the mix” to get the 1,000-yard receiver from Minnesota but their offer just wasn’t strong enough. In fact, Rapoport said the Vikings weren’t necessarily trying to deal Diggs. Buffalo just made an offer that they couldn’t refuse.

“I think that the Buffalo Bills, and I believe the Eagles were a little bit kind of in the mix there, but the Bills were very serious about it. And it was moreso them giving an offer that the Vikings couldn’t refuse than the Vikings wanting to trade him.”

Former Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski loved working with Diggs and there were no reported issues with his attitude. He wasn’t a distraction among teammates at all. Then he released a tweet saying “time for a new beginning” and he was sent packing to Buffalo within a few hours.

It took a lot to pry Diggs away from Minnesota, too. The Bills acquired the receiver and a 2020 seventh-round pick in exchange for a 2020 first-round pick (No. 22 overall), a 2020 fifth-round pick, a 2020 sixth-round pick and a 2021 fourth-round pick, per NFL.com. Diggs racked up 4,623 receiving yards and 30 touchdowns in five NFL seasons.

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Eagles Attempted to Trade for DeAndre Hopkins

Diggs wasn’t the only explosive receiver on Eagles GM Howie Roseman’s mind. In late March, he told reporters that the team had inquired on every big name out there: Diggs, Amari Cooper, DeAndre Hopkins, Breshad Perriman and Robby Anderson. Ultimately, the team decided to stand pat and add receivers through the draft. They selected three in the first six rounds.

While the talks about Diggs never fully escalated, the ones with Hopkins were a little more serious. Hopkins eventually was sent to Arizona for a pittance, including oft-injured running back David Johnson and a swap of fourth-round picks. Roseman indicated that the offer they received wasn’t the same, not as buyer-friendly.

“The Hopkins one, I get that this is a hot-button topic for us,” Roseman told reporters on a conference call. “I think that, again, we gotta also look at it from the perspective of the other team. What their ask is for us may be different, depending on their valuation of players they get in trades or where draft picks are. So, it’s not always apples to apples.”

So the Eagles ended up with neither Hopkins or Diggs. Instead, the team used their draft capital to trade for the Lions’ Darius Slay. Philadelphia gave up a third-round pick (85th overall) and a fifth-round pick (166) to get the All-Pro cornerback. They immediately locked up him to a lucrative long-term deal — three years at $50.5 million — and wouldn’t have been able to dole out money to both him and a big-time receiver.

“I’m not saying that as an excuse,” Roseman said about not trading for a receiver. “I’m just saying the reality of the situation is there are a lot of trades that we look at where I’ll call the GM and say, you know, ‘We talked about this. Why would you do it for this?’ And they’ll say, ‘Well, I really like this player’ or ‘I like where this pick is.’ So, I think there’s a lot that goes into it and we’re not always in control of the results on that.”

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