Former Vikings GM Rick Spielman suggests Stefon Diggs became a problem in Buffalo Bills locker room

Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills

General manager Brandon Beane shocked the NFL world on Wednesday when the Buffalo Bills traded star receiver Stefon Diggs to the Houston Texans. Perhaps the biggest surprise was that the Bills didn’t even receive any immediate compensation in return that would help their roster compete in 2024, with the second-round pick they got in return not even being usable until 2025.

Sure, the Bills can always package the 2025 second-round pick as part of a larger trade, but as of now, there isn’t an immediate way to replace the talent they’ve lost. Not for next season anyway.

Making matters worse, the Bills also took a $31 million cap hit on their 2024 budget for trading Diggs now instead of waiting until after June 1. So, why did the Bills get rid of their second-best offensive player when they’re still trying to win their franchise’s first Super Bowl?

Rick Spielman remembers Stefon Diggs all too well

It’s a great question, but if you’ve been following Diggs his whole career, dating back to his days with the Minnesota Vikings, the answer is right there in front of you. As Rick Spielman, the general manager who once felt compelled to trade Diggs from Minnesota to Buffalo can tell you, the receiver is a bit of a problem in the locker room.

“It had to get to a point in the building where I’ll take a second round pick in 2025, I’ll eat the $31 million in dead money. That’s when you know there’s a problem in the building, whether it’s in the locker room with Stefon, or that’s at quarterback. Production went down in the second half of the year, he wasn’t as effective. They brought him in there to basically get them over the hump, get them to the Super Bowl, and it seems like he wasn’t able to do that. Now it’s not all on him, I understand that, but he kind of disappeared. He had seven catches in the first playoff game, but other than that was non-existent when Kansas City came in there and actually had a pretty big drop.

So I think it got to the point where it was like ok, whatever we have to do, let’s get out of this contract, eat what we have to eat and move forward and hopefully be better as a football team. I went through a similar situation in Minnesota, where you go through on how you have to handle this, and can you ‘massage it’ to get to the end of the season and see what happens. And then we were able to trade him, we got a pretty good haul for him, when he was still in the prime of his career, but he’s 30 years old now, and we were very lucky and very fortunate that we were able to replace him with Justin Jefferson.”

Former Vikings GM Rick Spielman on his experiences with Stefon Diggs

No matter who the Bills get, they won’t land a Justin Jefferson-level talent to replace Diggs. Yet, if what Spielman says is true, where the benefits started outweighing the distractions, the Bills may feel like they didn’t have a choice but to trade Josh Allen’s top target. Now the question becomes, how can the Bills replace Diggs?

Related: Buffalo Bills mock draft 2024: Replenishing talent around Josh Allen after trading Diggs

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