Texans WR Stefon Diggs Paid Small Ransom to Jimmie Ward for New Number

Cowboys long-rumored trade target Stefon Diggs is not expected to land in Dallas.

Getty Cowboys long-rumored trade target Stefon Diggs is not expected to land in Dallas.

What’s in a number? A lot, if you ask Stefon Diggs. His first order of business after joining the Houston Texans was to secure his old college number — at a cost.

According to Aaron Wilson of KPRC Houston, Diggs paid safety Jimmie Ward a cool $100,000 for the No. 1. It marks the first time in his pro career he’s worn a number other than 14, as he last wore No. 1 during his days at the University of Maryland. Ward reverted to No. 20, which he wore with the San Francisco 49ers.

“Yeah, man, we worked some things out,” Ward told Wilson at the April 14, 2024, book signing for his children’s nutritional book “Jimmie’s Ward Nutritional ABCs For Active Kids.”

“I feel like he’s happy and 20 was available, so I’m happy. It’s a number that I feel like I can make plays in, but I feel like I can make plays in anything. I think Deion (Sanders) said it best: ‘Look good, feel good, play good. Deion said it and I think a lot of people think he was deep.”

$100,000 large is a hefty price tag for you and me. But to Diggs, who was given a raise from $18 to $22.52 million in guaranteed money for the 2024 season, it’s a small price to pay.

Diggs considered switching back to No. 1 in 2021 when NFL owners approved a rule allowing wide receivers to sport single-digits. But after some thought, he couldn’t bring himself to do it.

“I can’t change my number,” Diggs tweeted on April 5, 2021. “All the people that spent their hard earned money supporting the 14. I gotta keep it.”

Diggs rocked No. 14 for nearly a decade while racking up 9,995 yards and 67 touchdowns on 810 receptions with the Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills.

New team, new number.

Jimmie Ward Is Confident Stefon Diggs’ Addition Will Make Texans Better

The Houston Texans offense was on fire in 2023, thanks in large part to C.J. Stroud. The then-rookie threw for a rookie franchise record of 4,108 yards on 319 completions to an arsenal of weapons that included wide receivers Tank Dell, Nico Collins, Robert Woods, and tight ends Dalton Schultz and Brevin Jordan.

Adding Stefon Diggs is akin to bringing in five Nico Collinses.

“Oh man, it’s going to be pretty cool,” Ward told Wilson. “He’s a great talent. He came into this league and did what he’s supposed to do, and I feel like DeMeco (Ryans) and Nick (Caserio) did a great job in going to get him and making that trade. And I feel like he’s going to make our team better.”

There’s no question that Diggs can help Ward become an even better defender when he faces him in training camp. Houston’s camp opens on July 26, 2024.

Stefon Diggs and Bills QB Josh Allen Swapped Texts After Bills-Texans Trade

Though several Houston Texans, including C.J. Stroud, have had their first press conferences of 2024 over the past two weeks, Stefon Diggs has not.

Back at Diggs’ former workplace in Buffalo, quarterback Josh Allen spoke highly of his ex-teammate. Allen shared that he and Diggs swapped texts shortly after news of the trade came down.

“I shared a text with him, and got one back and just thanking him for everything that he did for me,” Allen told Bills reporters on April 18, 2024. “I’ll always have a spot in my heart for him.”

“It’s definitely hard to part ways with a guy that’s been very instrumental in our success here over the last four years. And again, I can’t thank him enough for when he came in and how hard he worked and what he taught me along the years.”

“Obviously, I wish we can keep everybody,” Allen said. “We’ve made a lot of changes this offseason, lost a lot of veteran leadership, ‘Stef’ being one of them. I guess that’s the nature of the business.”

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