Stefon Diggs Took Down All the Vikings Content From His Instagram. So is He on the Patriots Yet?
At some point last night it came to the attention of the people who pay attention to such things that Stefon Diggs removed every picture of himself in a Vikings uniform from his Instagram account. How many photos that was is beyond me. As a general rule I come to the Gram for the Kate Beckinsale updates and "The Office" memes. But however many Vikings-related posts Diggs had before, there is a clear and total absence of them now. His account has been wiped in the way Kevin deleted all his Dunder-Mifflin emails in the "Email Surveillance" episode.
In addition, he removed the mention of the Vikings from his bio. Which is a curious move considering he signed an extension with them in 2018 worth $81 million/ $40 million guaranteed that keeps him in Minnesota through 2023. And can only lead to one, inevitable conclusion. He's being traded.
Which brings us to the obvious choice for trading partner.
A quick check of the reliable source that is millions of random, anonymous, 1s and 0s on Twitter has people from every fanbase speculating their team is interested. But much of that is just a projection of their own desires. Stefon Diggs to the Patriots makes sense on so many levels I don't even know where to begin. So I'll begin with Diggs himself. Here are some fun facts:
--He has established himself as one of the best deep threats in the league. Last year his receptions were down from 102 in 2018 to 63 in 2019. And yet his receiving yards were up, from 1,021 to 1,130.
--His yards per catch went from 10.0 in 2018 to a career high 17.9, good for second in the league.
--According to Pro Football Focus, on passes of 20+ yards, he had the NFL's best catch rate (minimum 25 deep targets), with 55.2%. And 31.9% of his targets were deep balls, among the most in the league.
--PFF graded him with a 110.7 when targeted, eighth best among wideouts.
--Since 2017, he's got the fifth most receiving touchdowns, with 23.
--He's outstanding at 50/50 balls:
--This speaks for itself:
As does his route-running:
His fumbles are something he'd have to clean up, as his four lead all WRs last year. But he's reliable. He's only missed 10 games in his five seasons. He won't even turn 27 until after Thanksgiving. He just seems like a perfect fit in New England.
From a Patriots perspective, I've said before and I'll say now: They have never valued the wide receiver position the way other teams do. Not enough to spend an enormous slice of the salary cap pie on the position. So forget the annual crazytalk about Odell Beckham Jr. or whomever. But making a move to land Diggs makes total sense. Mainly because by all indications, Brady wants to be reassured he won't be standing in the pocket watching Julian Edelman get double teamed while Phillip Dorsett runs himself into single coverage and Mohamed Sanu and Jakobi Meyers run the wrong routes. N'Keal Harry flashed promise. But neither flashing nor promise will convince him to stay. Handing him a roster with one of the best deep threats in the league at the top of the depth chart will. After getting him a viable option at tight end, it's the top priority of the offseason. Diggs would be that big of a difference maker.
What it will take to pry him away from the franchise he's suddenly ghosted, your guess is as good as mine. They don't have a second rounder, but they've got plenty of picks after that. But I would start the negotiations by offering Sanu as Diggs replacement. He had the better part of a season to learn the Patriots system and never really seemed to get it. To borrow a phrase, it's more probable than not he may never get it. But he's an established veteran who's making $2.9 million less than Diggs, so that's a good place to start.
This isn't the first time we've considered Diggs to the Pats. Let's finally make it happen.