If there’s anyone as excited as Stefon Diggs is with his new contract, it’s his slightly more cash-strapped teammate.
The Buffalo Bills wide receiver signed a new four-year extension with the team worth a reported $104 million. The deal ends the uncertainty of Diggs’ future with the Bills, and led to some relief for fellow receiver Isaiah McKenzie.
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Diggs’ New Deal
As ESPN’s Alaina Getzenberg reported, the team gave Diggs an extension that will run through the 2027 season and gives him $70 million in guaranteed money. Diggs had only two years left on his existing contract, but the new extension means he will likely retire with Buffalo.
After social media posts from Diggs that some fans interpretted as discontented in the weeks leading up to the new deal, the Bills receiver took a much different tone in announcing the deal on Wednesday.
“There was so much work put in to get to this point but I am beyond happy to know that I will be playing the rest of my career with BILLS MAFIA. Words cannot describe how I’m feeling right now,” Diggs wrote in an Instagram post.
Diggs has helped turn the Bills into Super Bowl contenders over his two years in Buffalo. In his first season with the team in 2020, Diggs recorded career- and league-highs with 127 receptions and 1,535 receiving yards with eight touchdowns. As Getzenberg noted, Diggs topped his career high with 10 touchdowns last season.
Even before the deal was reported on Wednesday, Bills general manager Brandon Beane hinted that Diggs had earned a raise.
“I want to give all players their respect and a fair pay, whoever it is, and Stef’s no different,” Beane said. “… I think the world of Stef. I think what he’s brought our team has been great. He’s been great for Josh. He’s been great for our offense, and his leadership has stepped up, and we want to see Stef in Buffalo for years to come.”
McKenzie Happy Too
While a number of Diggs’ teammates took to social media to share their congratulations, McKenzie offered a measure of relief. When McKenzie signed a new contract with the Bills back in March for two years and $8 million, Diggs reportedly tried to take credit — and squeeze something of a commission out of his teammate. McKenzie shared that Diggs had demanded $200 for helping him earn the new contract, and Diggs corrected him to say that it was actualy $200,000.
But McKenzie seemed to think that the deal was off after Diggs signed his massive extension on April 6.
“[Buffalo Bills] good looking out, because i was not trying to pay [Diggs] 200K,” he tweeted.
With the Bills releasing slot receiver Cole Beasley earlier in the offseason, McKenzie has the chance to play an expanded role in the offense next season. He previously served as a return specialist who occassionally took jet-sweep handoffs out of the backfield, but took on a bigger role in the passing game with Beasley out for a stretch this season. McKenzie turned in a career-best performance in a December win over the New England Patriots, making 11 catches for 125 yards and a touchdown.