The Minnesota Vikings’ star wide receiver, Stefon Diggs may want out.
He missed a Wednesday practice, threw Kirk Cousins under the bus following their division loss to the Bears, and fueled the fire saying he has not asked for a trade but saying there is “truth to all rumors.”
Whether the Cousins dig was warranted, which is something that is up for debate, Diggs clearly wants out. He wants a quarterback that can get him the ball often, and he wants to win. With the Vikings currently trending down, it does not look like those things will be an option for him in Minneapolis.
With a large contract to take into account (almost $74 million through 2023), we will take a look at where the Vikes could ship Diggs if they want to grant his wish.
New England Patriots
Since losing Antonio Brown, the Patriots only have one real glaring hole on their roster. They lack a real over-the-top threat.
Josh Gordon was added to the injury report on Wednesday, and he clearly had been battling through something before then. He has 14 receptions for 221 yards and one touchdown. His longest catch of the season went for 44 yards, and he yards per catch sits at 15.8. Those numbers are okay but he is not featured enough in the Patriots offense to grow into a WR1 with constant deep-threat ability.
Julian Edelman is primarily used in the slot, and serves the team more as a safety valve than a downfield option. Phillip Dorsett has been good in 2019, averaging 13.1 yards on 15 receptions with three touchdowns. But a number one option, he is not.
Stefon Diggs would be the immediate WR1 as soon as he suited up for the Pats. His yards per reception is higher than any Patriots receiver, and he has the speed to get over-the-top and quickly. An offense featuring Brady throwing to Diggs would make the Patriots even scarier.
Every NFL fan knows that the Patriots brass is willing and able to pull off a reasonable trade. It is doubtful they could get Diggs for anything less than a first-rounder, but they could recoup that value quickly with a player like him. This could be a win for every party involved as long as the Vikings do not allow themselves to get fleeced.
San Francisco 49ers
Dante Pettis has been all but completely absent in 2019. He has caught only 5 receptions for 27 yards, although one went for a touchdown. He also only has six targets total. His longest catch was for 12 yards.
Marquise Goodwin is not doing much better in the receptions category, but he blows away Pettis in yards and yards per reception. On six catches, he has 125 yards and a touchdown. That is good for 20.8 yards per catch. Although those numbers sound good enough, he still is not being featured enough in the offense to be called a bona fide threat.
Being the last undefeated team in the NFC before their Monday night matchup, this season is shaking out well for the Niners. Their defense and offense has made strides, and Jimmy Garoppolo is playing well. With Kyle Shanahan’s innovative offensive play-calling, a receiver like Diggs could be a huge boost.
San Francisco is not far away from serious contention, and their division is tough. But if they want to shift the timeline slightly, trading for Diggs could put them where they want to be sooner than later.
Another loser in the Antonio Brown saga, the Raiders are a bit of a mess at wideout, too.
Their best receiver in 2019 is Tyrell Williams. He has 17 receptions on 24 targets, with 216 yards and four touchdowns. But he is currently questionable for Sunday’s matchup in London against the Bears with a foot injury.
Their other receivers are the likes of J.J. Nelson, Dwayne Harris and Hunter Renfrow, who has not quite recaptured the magic he had in college. Top-flight names these are not.
But pairing Diggs with a quarterback who essentially in a “prove-it” year may tell the Raiders all they need to know about Derek Carr. If Carr cannot produce with a steady talent like Diggs, then it may be time to move on. Trading for him could be a “two birds one stone” kind of move.
The Raiders are awash with picks to move to Minnesota, who would probably be very interested in shipping him as far away from the NFC North as possible. Oakland would be a very attractive option if the Vikings do not want to see him often.
John Brown and Cole Beasley are both solid, reliable receivers. Their production has been good, totaling 561 yards and one touchdown between them. Beasley, especially is a fantastic option in the slot and can be a first down machine.
But, like the 49ers, they are having a very surprising year. The coaching staff is good, the defense is borderline great and Josh Allen is making strides in his second year.
If they want to go all-in on this year, then Diggs would be a fantastic addition. Diggs has played inside his whole career, but he is used to the cold living in Minneapolis. He could flourish going over the top against bad AFC East defenses (Patriots excluded).
Speaking of the Patriots, they will be very interested in signing him to potentially just keep him away from New England. If he goes there, he may beat up on the Bills for years to come, adding insult to injury if they cannot pull off the trade.
The important thing here is not to mortgage their future to make a playoff push before they are ready. Buffalo has a really good core to build around, and it seems as if a slow, methodical approach will have them back in the playoffs soon.
But if the price is right, how could they say no?
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