Buffalo Bills big spenders in blockbuster Stefon Diggs deal

Stefon Digg, Minnesota Vikings. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Stefon Digg, Minnesota Vikings. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Any doubt over whether the Buffalo Bills are projecting that they’re the team to beat in the AFC East was officially put to bed Monday night.

The Buffalo Bills went all out in making a blockbuster trade for star wide receiver Stefon Diggs, sending Minnesota their 22nd overall pick this year, a 2020 fifth and sixth-round pick, and a 2021 fourth-round pick. Minnesota also traded Buffalo a 2020 seventh-round pick.

With the second-ranked defense in terms of points allowed, and the third-ranked defense in terms of yards allowed, no major signings were expected on D.

As far as the defensive re-signings have gone, defensive linemen Shaq Lawson and Jordan Phillips are out, but cornerback Levi Wallace will stay put. The Bills also brought in cornerback Josh Norman, who played under Sean McDermott when he was the Defensive Coordinator in Carolina.

With plenty of cap room to work with this offseason, General Manager Brandon Beane knows better than to look for splash signings on defense. That’s not how he built last year’s roster, and he certainly improved the team doing it his way.  Where Beane needed to be aggressive is on the offensive side of the ball.

Sending four picks for Diggs is a huge price to pay, but Beane is making it clear that the Buffalo Bills are in win-now mode. He clearly feels like the AFC East, with the Patriots having questions at quarterback for the first time in ages, is there for the taking. Winning the division, on top of the desire to upgrade the surroundings of his primary investment in young signal-caller Josh Allen, justifies making the trade with Minnesota.

Beane paid top dollar to bring in Diggs. First-round picks, especially this year are at a premium. Diggs is a special player and a borderline-elite receiver. Then again, he’s never even been to a single Pro Bowl either.

To put this trade in perspective, the Cardinals acquired a substantially better wideout in DeAndre Hopkins and a 2020 fourth-round pick in exchange for much less. They gave up David Johnson, a 2021 fourth-round pick, and a 2020 second-round pick. Sure, nobody knew that Hopkins was available at this price, and not a single person in the entire world outside the Texans front office has a clue as to why the Texans saw his trade value that low.

Either way, however, it shows that a team in the NFL didn’t even have to trade a lot of draft capital for a top-tier receiver, and the Bills spent four picks for a receiver who’s not at that level. In 2018, the Cowboys were able to spend just one first-round pick on another borderline-elite wide receiver Amari Cooper.

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Again, that situation isn’t completely comparable in that the Cowboys trade was near the trade deadline. However, these moves prove that the Bills could have negotiated for something better, gone after a different player for cheaper, or looked for help in this upcoming draft’s loaded receiver class. After all, this is the best wide receiver draft class any of us have seen in a long time.

It’s certainly an outstanding fit for the Bills offense, and their offense at least should improve in the short-term, but spending so many picks doesn’t sit well with future plans.

Many wideout-needy teams would not have made this trade.  There are too many great wide receivers in the draft to give up so much. The Buffalo Bills could keep that first-round pick and draft a future receiver of Diggs’ caliber, even at the back end of the first round.

Next. Bills 3-round 2020 mock draft compilation 3.0 – Post-combine. dark

Bills Mafia has a right to be excited about their offensive outlook for next year, but they gave up too much to get this piece when considering the overall outlook of the franchise.