For those of you that are just waking up. . .I don’t know, maybe you’re working the graveyard shift or something. . .the big story from Minnesota Vikings Training Camp today was wide receiver Stefon Diggs signing the sort of big, shiny new contract extension that we were told signing Kirk Cousins would prevent the Vikings from signing their players to. (Apparently Rob Brzezinski and Rick Spielman didn’t get the memo.)
Diggs faced the Minnesota media once again now that he’s signed that big ol’ contract, so let’s take a look at what he had to say.
First and foremost I want to thank God. He’s played a huge role in my life and my family’s life and I thank the Wilf’s for everything, Rick [Spielman] and crew and everyone involved. My agent, Adisa Bakari, for getting together and helping us get something done. I love it here. I truly do and I’m just happy I’ll be here for a while now. That’s why I want to play for them for selecting me in the fifth round. It was a bumpy road that day and I just remember getting a call and they gave me a chance. They believed in me and they won and going forward they pushed me to be where I am now. Just a story I’ll share; It means a lot to me because my dad sat me down a couple months before he passed away and he just told me to look after your brothers, look after your mom, and basically look after your family and then. And that meant a lot to me. But with day going forward it just came full circle and I have a lot of emotions, if you can understand a little bit. For it to come all the way around I’m happy that I can look at my mom and smile and tell her that everything is going to be okay. I’m just very thankful for everybody involved and everybody who played a huge part in it. I appreciate it. Lets keep going forward and I’m going to continue to prove them right with the chance that they took on me and believing in me going forward.
Q: When did you tell your mom?
A: That was the first person I wanted to tell. I called her a couple times. You’d be surprised she didn’t answer. She probably got the message and she was little frantic a little bit, but she was excited. She was real Momma D in the situation like that. A couple months ago she almost had a heart attack with the touchdown, so I would think this one was a little more relieving. It’s just a happy moment. Pops left me a message to do and I accomplished it. Now moving forward I just got to continue to do so and continue to make my mom happy.
Q: What was her reaction?
A: I called her. I knew before you guys, but I called her yesterday and she was like “Okay, okay”. I was like I need you to get on a plane right now. I need you to come out here. I need you to be a part of this and she’s been with me every step of the way so need her to be here.
Q: What is this going to allow you to do for her and your family?
A: You know everybody. My family is a little different, everybody holds their own. My mom holds her own so I’m going to have to make her do something for once, but it allows me to give her a little relief as a mom. She worked really hard. She worked on the train for almost thirty years and she supported four boys, it’s a lot of men in my family. I kind of stepped into the leadership role as a father figure. I have two younger brothers as you all know and for me it was huge to tell her that she don’t have to do it anymore. It’s going to be okay and say “I got it” once. I got it from now on.
Q: How have you handled the last seven months?
A: I would say just stay grounded, just like football good things happen, bad things happen, just kind of roll with the punches. That’s how my life’s been pretty much and I try not to get too high or too low, just move forward. When great things happen you take that moment, you savor it. Be thankful for everything that happens because good things don’t happen to everybody. Everybody’s had some bad ones. So for me I just take the opportunity and thank God and thank everybody involved and move forward so we can all work as one. For me, I’ll continue to do what I do, continue to work hard, continue to put my best foot forward so I can continue to do what I’m supposed to do.
Q: Did you ever think this deal would get done?
A: For me it wasn’t really a thought process. It wasn’t a lot to it. It was something I put in the back of my head. I got to trust that it’ll get done. Being a part of an organization is hard sometimes. We have a lot of young, great players and I fully understood that, but for me if it was meant to be it would happen and it did, because it was. For me I was happy because this is where I wanted to be. I didn’t want to say too much. I wanted to keep it inside but this is where I’m happy. These are my teammates, my friends – you know Adam [Thielen], I love him to death – other guys, but we’ve built something special here and I’ve been here for a while now here a while and we’ve built something special
Q: When did contract talks start?
A: I don’t know. You’ll have to take it up with them. That’s a question above my paygrade.
Q: Did talks ramp up in the last few days since we’ve talked to you?
A: No, it was pretty much after that, I guess. I didn’t have any updates at that point. You guys were a day early, I guess.
Q: How important was it for you to get the contract done before the season so you can focus on football?
A: I was going to focus on football regardless, whether it was done or not. I want to win. I play for the Minnesota Vikings so I want to win regardless. When I’m under contract, it’s not like I’m playing and I’m not under contract. I’m still a part of the organization and I’ll want to win regardless of the situation. We can figure it out when it’s time. Winning is all I care about.
Q: What does it mean to you that the organization puts such an emphasis on continuity team-wide?
A: It says a lot about the organization. Just as far as what they build and how they build it. As far as having young players and building them up and coaching and bringing them along. We all kind of grew up together, everybody in my class, everybody is still kind of here for the most part. It says a lot. They like to keep their players here, they like to keep a good thing going, especially if it’s something special. We do have something special here with the players we have and the pieces that we added. Hopefully we can make this last for a long time.
Q: How do you feel about playing with Adam Thielen for at least three years?
A: Yeah, he’s stuck with me. Even after that, I’ll come back and bother him for a long time. As far as what we build here, working in tandem is going to happen for a little while longer. I’m excited, I’m looking forward to working with him. Camp has been a heck of a time as far as spending time with the guys and building something. We’re all working towards a goal and it takes day-by-day, we take it day-by-day and try not to get ahead of ourselves. Everybody wants to be perfect on this team.
Q: What do you need to do to bring your game to the next level?
A: Just focus, take my time. Focus on the little things, what’s gotten me here. I’ve been growing since I got into the NFL. I try to take that serious, try to take a next step each and every year. Get better at one thing, add it to my game, add it to my toolbox. My thing is, I’m still going, I’m still learning, I’m still young. I’m looking forward and trying to make a lot more plays.
Q: You talked last year about investing in your body to prevent injuries, will this help that?
A: This will definitely play a huge part as far as how much I can pour into my body. Investing a lot of money into my body and making sure I’m in tip-top shape moving forward. I took it serious before but this will definitely something huge that I can use this, and use that.
Q: What sort of things will you be able to invest in?
A: I already have two massages a week but maybe I can double-up on my acupuncture and double-up and maybe get a hyperbaric chamber. Things like that, just small things that I can learn from our veteran guys and the guys that I know that helped them play for as long as they did. T-New [Terence Newman] is an older guy, he’s been in the league for 100 years so I’m pretty sure I can learn a thing or two.
Q: What was your draft day experience like?
A: It was a rough day for me. I felt like I had talent but I’m not a complainer. I felt like I was going to go when I was going to go. I was happy when I did get chosen. For me, it put a chip on my shoulder that I still have. Still have a lot to prove. Being that today was such a big day, you just add a couple more chips onto your shoulder. As far as moving forward, trying to still work at everything. How I got here, I worked. I worked to get everything that I got. I earned everything. I had a great support system so moving forward I’m trying to do the same thing.
Q: What do the relationships that you’ve already established with Kirk Cousins and John DeFilippo mean to you?
A: It’s like a relationship thing, as far as being in a relationship with anybody. As far as dealing with someone, you want to make it as easy as possible. The position that they have, as far as coaches and quarterbacks, you want to make it easy on them. For me, I want to be coachable, I want to learn everything. I want it to be done how you want it to be done. That way, I can have success and you’re happy at the same time. For me, I try to build that relationship by asking questions. Asking questions, asking how bout this? Or how bout that? Am I doing this right? Just to make sure we’re always on the same page. That way, you take some relief off the quarterback and you take some relief off the offensive coordinator so they can trust you out there.
Q: What would you say to your dad if he was here?
A: I don’t know, that’s a great question. It’s kind of weird, because at this point I kind of did everything he told me to do. If he was next to me, I’d just be like, ‘Are you happy now?’ I don’t know. It’s kind of like one of those things where he’s not here, it probably drove me even more because I knew he wasn’t here. I know, hopefully, he’s watching down and he’s happy. I don’t know what dads do in proud moments, my dad was a tough guy. Hopefully he can at least smile.