One of the biggest trades in the recent history of the Minnesota Vikings came this past March when the team sent wide receiver Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills for a bevy of draft picks, including a first-round selection. Diggs went on to have a huge season for Buffalo and the Vikings used that high pick they received from the Bills to select budding star Justin Jefferson, so it appears that things have worked out for both sides.
But, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Diggs nearly had another home this offseason. . .the New England Patriots.
Rapoport reports that the battle for Diggs’ services came down to the two AFC East rivals, and when the Bills came to the Vikings with their package of four draft picks, the Vikings called the Patriots to give them one more opportunity to match what the Bills had offered. Bill Belichick and company refused, and Diggs was gone to upstate New York.
The Patriots’ first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft was only one spot behind Buffalo’s selection. The Bills were originally slotted at #22 while the Patriots held pick #23. But had the Bills not acquired Diggs and stayed at #22, you’d have to think that they would have grabbed Justin Jefferson at their spot and the Vikings would have been left to take. . .well, somebody not nearly as good as Justin Jefferson is.
In the end, things appeared to have worked out quite nicely for both sides in the Diggs trade. But, you do sort of have to wonder how much different things would have been if the Patriots had decided to match or beat the Bills’ offer for Diggs last March.