Bills GM Gets Brutally Honest on Abruptly Trading Stefon Diggs

Stefon Diggs

Getty Former Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs on February 04, 2024 in Orlando, Florida.

The Buffalo Bills‘ decision to trade wide receiver Stefon Diggs to the Houston Texans came as a shock on Wednesday, April 3.

Due to Diggs’ $96 million extension, the Bills will eat over $31 million in dead money with his abrupt exit. In order to get rid of Diggs, Buffalo sent Houston a 2024 sixth-round pick and a 2025 fifth-round pick. In exchange, the Bills received a 2025 second-rounder.

Speaking to reporters, Bills general manager Brandon Beane refused to say whether Diggs demanded a trade. However, when asked about the dead money, the $4 million cap hit, and needing a new No. 1 receiver long after the first wave of free agency, Beane was pretty blunt about where the team stands.

“Are we better today? Probably not,” he said. “It’s a work in progress, and we’re going to continue to work on that. I would hope that people know I’m competitive as hell… and I ain’t giving in. We’re gonna work through this and we’re going to continue to look. I’m confident in the guys we have on the roster and I’m confident in the staff that helps me.”

Before free agency started, the Bills released six key veterans to free up cap space. After a flurry of moves, the Bills had approximately $7 million in space. With Diggs gone, that “pulls us down into the 3s in cap space,” Beane noted. However, Buffalo will receive an extra $10 million with Tre’Davious White’s designated June 1 release.

“Sometimes in this seat, you’ve got to make difficult decisions… It’s not lightly… it wasn’t easy. But it was with a lot of thought, discussion, and conversations at the highest level of our organization. It was made with the best interest of the Bills.”

Brandon Beane Said Bills QB Josh Allen was Aware Stefon Diggs Could Be Traded

Stefon Diggs, Josh Allen

GettyJosh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills and Stefon Diggs #14 of the Buffalo Bills celebrate after a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns at Ford Field on November 20, 2022.

While Beane said he had not talked to Bills quarterback Josh Allen since the trade was announced Wednesday morning, the team’s franchise star was not completely in the dark. Beane said he didn’t want Allen to be “blindsided” by trading away his No. 1 wide receiver.

He did “alert” Allen that there were “inquiries” from teams looking to acquire Diggs, but things didn’t get serious until “this week.”

As for what made the Bills finally pull the trigger, Beane kept those details close to his chest. “You don’t want to get into every reason you make every move. It’s not one thing with any player.” With Diggs, there’s a laundry list of red flags that hinted Diggs’ tenure in Buffalo would end prematurely. However, financially speaking, a departure wasn’t expected until after the 2024 NFL season.

“Again, when you make a decision like this, it’s generally you know, unless someone broke the law and did something very bad, and it’s generally not one thing,” Beane reiterated. “You’re just, you’re making the decision, and you’re considering all factors. You’re getting different people’s viewpoints. You’re weighing all the pros and cons.”

The Bills proved they can win without Diggs in the back half of the season. He failed to deliver in the Bills’ playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. While the immediate financial hit is painful, trading Diggs opens up $27.3 million in cap space for 2025.

The Bills are Predicted to Trade Up in the 2024 NFL Draft to Land a Top WR

With Diggs, Trent Sherfield, and Deonte Harty gone, the Bills’ top receivers on the roster are Curtis Samuel, Khalil Shakir, Mack Hollins, and tight end Dalton Kincaid.

With a deep class of receivers entering the 2024 NFL draft, Beane is predicted to trade up and snag a top prospect like Malik Nabers, Rome Odunze, or Marvin Harrison Jr. The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia wrote, “Armed with another second-round pick in next year’s draft, nothing should be ruled out regarding a massive move up the board.

“If the Bills can get their hands on Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze — or even Brian Thomas Jr. later in the first round — it would give them both a starter and a potential long-term No. 1 to pair with Allen. That would be the ultimate move that signals they are still quite serious about winning in 2024.”

Beane also strongly suggested they won’t just be adding talent via the draft. “We don’t play games until September,” Beane said. “I’m going to turn over every stone to add depth and competition.”

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