Bills HC Sean McDermott Gets Brutally Honest on Replacing Stefon Diggs

Stefon Diggs vs Patriots

Getty The New England Patriots drafted a player already compared to All-Pro Stefon Diggs.

Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott knows there will be no replacing Stefon Diggs next season.

The Bills shipped Diggs to the Houston Texans in a surprise trade, losing their No. 1 wide receiver and a major part of the team’s rise to Super Bowl contender. Speaking to reporters on April 18 about the move, McDermott emphasized that the team will never be able to fully replace what they lost and it will take the collective work of many players to fill the void.

“It’s hard right? Stef’s a great player,” McDermott said. “Really enjoyed our time together. Won a lot of games. He was a huge factor in winning those games. We’ll miss him. You never replace a player like Stef Diggs. We wish him well, Stef and his family. Hard to move on from a player like that and now we go back to looking at our roster and excited for the opportunity that we have in that room for guys to step up.”

Bills Faced ‘Tough Decisions’

McDermott acknowledged that trading Diggs was a tough reality for a team facing a significant salary cap crunch. The Bills made a series of other roster moves roughly one month before shipping Diggs to shore up cap space, releasing veterans Mitch Morse and Jordan Poyer and restructuring Von Miller’s contract.

“Those are tough decisions,” he said. “You never replace people like that, players like that. No two players or people are the same. But again, it’s an opportunity for people to take on new roles.”

Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News noted that the team added $3.24 million to the salary cap by trading Diggs, but will see an even more significant benefit next season.

“The biggest salary cap upside is Diggs won’t count anything toward the Bills’ 2025 cap,” Gaughan wrote. “If Diggs had been on the roster in 2025 he would have counted $27.3 million. Thus, the Bills have made their cap situation considerably easier for 2025.”

McDermott said there had been some internal discussions before trading Diggs. When asked if quarterback Josh Allen was part of those discussions, McDermott said there was “collaboration” but did not directly address what part Allen may have played in the process.

“You always have conversations, sometimes multiple conversations and you communicate multiple times and you collaborate,” the Bills head coach said. “This was a big decision — one we didn’t take lightly. … Just trying to do what’s best for the team both in the near term and the long term.”

Bills Predicted to Add Receiver in NFL Draft

Many analysts believe the Bills will start their work in replacing Diggs in the NFL Draft, including some who predict a big move up the draft board.

In a mock draft published on April 16, Rob Maaddi of The Associated Press predicted that the Bills would trade up to the No. 4 spot to grab the top-rated receiver, Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr.

Maaddi acknowledged that the Bills could be feeling some pressure after unloading Diggs and could start by drafting Harrison.

“Harrison, the son of Hall of Fame receiver Marvin Harrison, was the best WR on the field last season,” Maaddi wrote. “His stock has slipped some because he skipped offseason workouts but his tape is enough. The Bills are under pressure to win a Super Bowl and need a No. 1 wideout after trading Stefon Diggs.”

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