Stefon Diggs has come clean.
After national media stoked a yearlong tension surrounding his departure from the Minnesota Vikings to the Buffalo Bills, the star wide receiver admitted he became a bad teammate toward the end of his time in Minnesota.
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‘I Became a Bad Teammate’
In a Wednesday press conference ahead of the Bills’ season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Diggs explained how his behavior turned with the Vikings.
“Coming from my old team — I hate talking about old stuff — but up to me wanting to leave and go to another place, I was a good teammate,” Diggs said. “It wasn’t until I wanted to do something else is when I became a bad teammate. So as far as when things are going good, it’s all good until it’s not good. So for me, even then, I always tried to play with a chip on my shoulder and lead my team the best way I know how.”
Diggs led the NFL with 127 receptions and 1,535 receiving yards in his first year with the Bills. He became the heart of the Bills offense in just a year after he was considered toxic to the Vikings locker room after missing practice and voicing his grievances in October 2019.
He was named a team captain this week as the Bills embarked on a quest of returning to the AFC Championship game.
“Coming here I had a fresh start. It was fair for people to make their assumptions or their assessments from the outside looking in. That’s fair. I just look at it as, when I get there, I’ll show them who I am, and we’ll go from there. As far as my new chapter with my new team, things are going pretty good.”
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Zimmer Backs Diggs
Last summer, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer appeared on The Rich Eisen Show and attested Diggs wasn’t a pain to the team.
“Stefon works extremely hard, he practices like crazy he wants the ball like all receivers do… Really, if you said somebody was a pain in the butt, you probably wouldn’t say him. I’ve been around way worse guys than him and I hope he has a great career and finishes up strong,” Zimmer said.
The decision to trade Diggs wasn’t entirely on his disgruntled behavior, but more so the Bills’ offer just hours after Diggs’ cryptic tweets in March 2020.
“What happened was Buffalo came in and gave us all those picks, and we were up against it with the salary cap, so we just felt like we could save some money, get a bunch of picks and maybe get a young receiver like [Justin Jefferson],” Zimmer told Eisen.
The Vikings offloaded Diggs’ $72 million contract and drafted Justin Jefferson, who proved to be a capable replacement to Diggs in the offense.
Through a series of trades with the picks received in the Diggs trade, the Vikings also landed fourth-round safety Camryn Bynum, fourth-round defensive end Janarius Robinson along with defensive end Kenny Willekes and tight end Zach Davidson, who are both on the practice squad.