NFL Network’s Good Morning Football cast speculated on a segment “Believe it or Not…” whether the Minnesota Vikings will miss Stefon Diggs, who was traded to the Buffalo Bills in a shocking offseason trade.
Michael Robinson said the Vikings will be fine without Diggs, but his other two co-hosts begged to differ.
Peter Schrager referred to a comment that coach Mike Zimmer made and reaffirmed Diggs’ departure was not due to off-field issues:
“You could hear it in Mike Zimmer’s voice. It’s like ‘I didn’t want to get rid of him but we had salary cap and Justin Jefferson was gonna be there in the draft — we knew we could get a wide receiver…’ They also got four draft picks for him.
It was time for both sides to part here but they’re going to miss his veteran presence — and you might roll your eyes and say yeah but he was the one bellyaching on the sidelines — don’t get it twisted… I know a lot of the guys in the Vikings organization — Stefon Diggs is a good guy and a well-liked teammate. That stuff was more for Twitter and was more for us in the media to dissect. In that building right there Stefon Diggs was very well-liked, they just had to make a move…”
Shaun O’Hara added the Vikings will miss Diggs due to his big-play ability, but also made the point of Diggs fading in the postseason:
“…But when you look at this offense — I go back to the playoff games last year — Stefon Diggs had four catches in two games, so in some of the biggest games of the year, they couldn’t find a way to get him the ball get him involved… I think for Justin Jefferson maybe he can add to that and maybe he can bring something to the table that they just couldn’t seem to get done with Stefon Diggs, but no doubt I mean that trade was something there was no way they were walking away from that given all that capital.”
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Robinson’s Case For Not Missing Diggs
Robinson argued the Vikings won’t miss Diggs as running back Dalvin Cook has become the offensive centerpiece of the offense:
“They will not miss Stefon Diggs and this is no slight towards Stefon Diggs — he’s going to have a great year in Buffalo as they win the AFC East, but that’s a whole ‘nother conversation.
This Minnesota Vikings offense is led by Dalvin Cook guys, that’s why they’re not going to miss him. They’re going to continue to run the football. They’re going to continue to lean on that offensive line. They’re going to continue to be explosive in the passing game. Yes Kevin Stefanski is now the head coach in Cleveland, so they don’t have their play caller anymore, but come on man. Kirk Cousins: 14 touchdowns off play-action. This running game is vital to the success of the Minnesota Vikings. They’re not going to miss Stefon Diggs. They needed to part ways and they did.”
Numbers Lost With Diggs
Diggs was the Vikings lead wide receiver last year, catching 63 passes for a career-high 1,130 yards last season. Despite ranking 44th in catches last season, Diggs finished 17th in receiving yards and finishing fourth in yards-per-catch (17.9). He also led the team with 20 plays of 20 or more yards a season ago.
NFL.com’s Nick Shook ranked Diggs the third-best pass catcher in 2019 and credited the wideout for his prowess for big plays and gaining separation from defenders. Shook also pointed out that most of Diggs’ success was facing single coverage, “a testament to Adam Thielen’s presence and a multi-level Vikings offense that didn’t focus too heavily on Diggs.”
Diggs time in Buffalo could be telling of how he’ll handle being a true No. 1 receiver.
Follow Trevor Squire on Twitter: @trevordsquire