Bears Trade Proposal Swaps Young DB for Bills’ Stefon Diggs

Stefon Diggs

Getty Stefon Diggs of the Buffalo Bills.

It’s trade talk season, and former NFL executive Mike Tannenbaum has come up with a swap for the ages: Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs in exchange for Chicago Bears cornerback Tyrique Stevenson.

On the February 20 episode of ESPN’s “Get Up,” the former New York Jets general manager and Miami Dolphins exec proposed the player-to-player swap, citing Chicago’s poor depth at wide receiver as a primary reason the Bears should make the trade.

The Bears selected Stevenson in the second round of the 2023 NFL draft and he had a breakout rookie campaign last season. Stevenson started 16 games and tied for the team lead in interceptions (4), also forcing two fumbles and breaking up 16 passes.

Diggs will be entering his 10th NFL season in 2024. He just finished his fourth season with the Bills, catching 107 passes for 1,183 yards (11.1 yards per catch) and 8 touchdowns.

Would Bears Trade CB Tyrique Stevenson for WR Stefon Diggs?

While there’s no doubt the Bears need help at wide receiver, there’s virtually no chance the team would part with a promising young defensive back in exchange for a 30-year-old wideout whose best playing days are arguably behind him.

That’s not to be dismissive of Diggs’ talents — he’s not elite, but he’s still in the league’s upper echelon of wide receivers. The veteran wideout has had over 100 receptions in five of his last seasons and has been named an All-Pro in two of his past four seasons.

But it’s difficult to glean why Tannenbaum thinks either team would be a fan of this proposed trade. The Bills already have two capable cornerbacks in Rasul Douglas and Tre’Davious White, so why would they want to trade their top wideout in Diggs for another corner?

The Bears moved up in the draft last year to select Stevenson, and they greatly value his contributions on defense. And general manager Ryan Poles hasn’t had a tendency to pursue aging veterans in free agency, as the Bears have one of the 10 youngest teams in the NFL.

The Cornerback Position Is a Strength for the Bears Heading Into 2024 Season

The Bears were tied with the San Francisco 49ers for the league lead in interceptions (22) and their secondary was a huge reason why.

With three young corners all 25 or under in Stevenson, Jaylon Johnson and Kyler Gordon, the Bears have a wealth of talent at the position. Stevenson had four of those picks, as did Johnson. Gordon snagged two interceptions last year.

Gordon saw his play jump quite a bit in Year 2. He suffered a broken hand Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers, but when he was on the field, he generally made an impact. He played in 13 games, thriving in the slot, where he played 501 snaps.

Johnson had his first All-Pro season, and is slated to either get franchise tagged or re-signed to a lucrative contract extension. Johnson was lights-out in 2023, finishing with PFF’s top coverage grade (91.0). He allowed a paltry 33.3 passer rating when targeted, allowing just 25 receptions on 50 targets.

All three CBs have upward trajectories, which make proposals like Tannenbaum’s sound borderline ridiculous.

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