The Buffalo Bills mandatory minicamp turned into a mini soap opera following Stefon Diggs‘ mysterious absence from the first day of practice and head coach Sean McDermott fueling the fire with his “very concerned” comment before completely flipping the narrative 24 hours later to say everything was “resolved.”
So, when Bills running back Nyheim Hines subtweeted on Wednesday, June 21 about players posting their workouts on social media, fans wondered if this was a shot toward Diggs, who’s shared several video clips of his intense gym routine on his Instagram Stories over the past few days.
Hines tweeted, “Just because you post yourself working doesn’t mean you’re out working everyone else😂 you just showing the world what you’re doing. Not everyone wants to post their work outs on social media 😂😭😭.”
One fan asked, “Diggs tweet?” and Hines was quick to shut down that narrative. The Bills’ return specialist tweeted back, “Lol I haven’t seen any videos of him… 2 why would I subtweet my teammate and someone who’s game I loved years before he was ever my teammate.. make it make sense 😂 that tweet was for younger kids.. Diggs already made it 😂.”
With so many wild rumors swirling around Diggs, Hines made it clear there’s nothing to speculate when it comes his view of the three-time Pro Bowler’s work ethic. Hines’ sentiment is on the same page as Bills quarterback Josh Allen, who offered layered praise toward Diggs as a teammate during minicamp, as did edge rusher Von Miller and center Mitch Morse.
McDermott told reporters of Diggs last week, “He works extremely, extremely hard, as hard as any player I’ve been around to be elite in this league – and that’s what he is.”
Nyheihm Hines Took a Pay Cut To Stay With the Bills
Hines was initially considered to be a possible cap casualty ahead of the 2023 NFL season, as his contract allowed the Bills to release him without incurring any dead money on the books. The Athletic‘s Joe Buscaglia wrote, “Hines did make himself a valuable player as a kickoff returner, but that usually doesn’t equate to a nearly $5 million cap hit… The Bills could save more money by cutting Hines than on any other non-core player, and it isn’t close.”
Instead, the Bills restructured Hines’ contract before free agency started which secured his spot in Buffalo. NFL Network‘s Mike Garafolo tweeted in March that the Bills were converting “part of his base salary to a signing bonus to provide some cap relief. Incentives added give him the chance to earn more than his previously scheduled $4.79 million in ’23.”
One of the biggest criticisms toward offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey last season was his inability to utilize the 26-year-old running back after the Bills acquired him at the trade deadline. While his two kickoff return touchdowns against the New England Patriots in Week 18 were incredible, he had a total of 13 touches on offense in 11 game appearances.
SI‘s Tim Kelly suggested in April that Bills could lean into Hines’ talent as a receiver, as he’s tallied 240 catches for 1,778 yards and eight touchdowns over his five-year NFL career, however, that seems unlikely after the Bills traded up to land pass-catching tight end Dalton Kincaid in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
NFL’s New Kickoff Rule May Hurt Nyheim Hines’ Value in 2023
With Devin Singletary gone, James Cook is in line to be the Bills’ RB1, and Reggie Gilliam is set at fullback. However, the Bills added running backs Latavius Murray and Damien Harris in free agency, which may put a dent in Hines’ snaps.
The Buffalo News‘ Jay Skurski predicts the former fourth-round pick from the 2018 NFL Draft will make the team, but “the new kickoff rule that allows teams to call for a fair catch and start an offensive drive at their own 25-yard line makes it worth questioning whether Hines’ value, which is tied in part to his ability on special teams as a returner, is still worth a spot on the 53-man roster,” he wrote.
“The thinking here is that the Bills will give him every opportunity to prove that is still the case after trading for him last season,” Skurski noted. “Perhaps a full offseason to digest the Bills’ offense will give Hines a better chance at making more of an impact on offense. Murray gives the Bills veteran leadership and a good insurance policy in case something were to happen to Harris, who has fought injuries in recent years and was limited to 11 games last season.”