Has Rick Spielman’s free agency start boosted his contract hopes?

(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Rick Spielman
(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Rick Spielman /
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(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) Stefon Diggs
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) Stefon Diggs /

The Stefon Diggs trade

The Minnesota Vikings made another jaw-dropping move by trading star receiver Stefon Diggs.

The former fifth-round pick was clearly unhappy with his role in a run-first offense. Giving quarterback Kirk Cousins an extension also did not sit well with Diggs, who encountered his difficulties with the gunslinger during the season.

Minnesota eventually decided Diggs was no longer worth the trouble and managed to get a good haul from the Buffalo Bills in return. This includes the 22nd overall pick, a fifth and sixth-rounder in 2020 and a fourth-round selection in 2021.

Although Diggs was still performing to an elite level, having someone who has the ability to cause so much disruption when things are not going his way made it a necessary move. This leaves the Viking very short of receiving options that need to be addressed either during the rest of free agency or via the NFL Draft.

Diggs’ absence puts additional pressure on Adam Thielen to make a more lasting contribution. But the Pro Bowler suffered his share of injury problems last season and any more strain is going to cause complications down the line.

Minnesota’s front office will know that to get the most out of Cousins, they must improve their threats from the receiver position. Trading away a consistent performer like Diggs is going to see more scrutiny than ever. If things do not go well following his departure, it will have serious implications.

It never sends out a good message when a franchise parts ways with one of their best offensive weapons. Only time will tell as to whether or not it was to the Vikings’ benefit.