Things have apparently spiraled out of control in Minnesota. At 2-2 on the season, the Vikings are in the midst of yet another disappointing season.
It’s led to questions about Kirk Cousins’ future in Minneapolis. Star wide receiver Stefon Diggs has also grown frustrated, leading to suggestions that he wants to be traded.
While the Vikings have reportedly indicated they are unwilling to trade Diggs short of receiving a massive offer, there’s a chance he’s moved before the deadline later this month.
If so, numerous teams would have interest in a 25-year old receiver who caught north of 100 passes last season. Here’s a look at five teams that make the most sense.
New England Patriots
Imagine the sweet music Diggs could make with Tom Brady. In fact, the Vikings should not even pick up the phone if Bill Belichick were to call. That should be the standard operating procedure around the NFL.
From a pure fit perspective, New England makes the most sense. Julian Edelman is the team’s leading receiver through the first quarter of the season with 226 yards. We’ve seen this unit struggle over the past couple weeks. The Pats could offer up a 2020 first-round pick and potentially an early rounder in 2021 to get this done. We’ve seen the team make similar blockbuster moves in the past.
The Antonio Brown relationship was about as shirt-lived and drama-filled as anyone could have imagined. It also shows Oakland’s need to add a top-end receiver for Derek Carr. Free-agent signing Tyrell Williams has impressed to the tune of 216 yards and four scores. There’s not much behind him on the depth chart.
There’s a fit here when it comes to potential compensation. Oakland boasts two first-round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft stemming from the Khalil Mack trade. It also has an additional third-round pick. Maybe Jon Gruden and Co. offer up those two selections for Diggs.
San Francisco 49ers
Linked to pretty much every high-profile figure on the trade block over the past calendar year, San Francisco has not been afraid to pull the trigger. It started with the 49ers’ blockbuster deal for Jimmy Garoppolo during the 2017 season and culminated in trading for Pro Bowl pass rusher Dee Ford this past spring. In on Odell Beckham Jr. before the Giants made it clear they were not sending him to an NFC team, the 49ers have also been on the look out for a top-end receiver.
One of only three remaining undefeated teams, there’s a chance San Francisco will look to add to its core. A move of this ilk could include the team sending youngster Dante Pettis and multiple early-round picks that are not of the Day 1 variety.
General manager Brandon Beane sought reinforcements at receiver for young quarterback Josh Allen this past offseason. That included signing veterans John Brown and Cole Beasley, who have combined for 47 receptions through four games. Boasting one of the most-dominant defenses in the NFL, adding a player of Diggs’ ilk on offense would be a boon for the Bills.
Under this scenario, Buffalo might feel comfortable where it’s at on the season and offer up a high-value first-round pick in return for Diggs. From Minnesota’s perspective, this selection might have the best opportunity to be within the top 12 or so come April. Just some food for thought.
Much like moving Diggs to San Francisco, we assume that trading him to any NFC contender would demand a large bounty. We’ve seen other teams in the past push back against trading star players within the conference. Beckham Jr., Mack and Garoppolo being the most-recent examples.
Even then, Philadelphia seems like the most-logical fit outside of New England. Receivers DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery have dealt with injuries this season. There’s not much behind those two on the depth chart. If Philly is confident in its ability to make the playoffs this season, dealing a first-round pick in 2020 and change could be in the cards.