Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer recently commented on the decision to trade Stefon Diggs.
After the moment when Stefon Diggs walked into the end zone to complete the “Minneapolis Miracle” during the 2017 playoffs, no one could have imagined that the Minnesota Vikings would ever trade the young receiver.
Then after the Vikings decided to give Diggs a five-year, $72 million extension before the 2018 season, the team dealing the receiver elsewhere seemed even more ludicrous of a thought to have.
But during his next two seasons in Minnesota, Diggs’ relationship with the team began to sour for some reason. Ultimately, it actually led to the Vikings trading him to the Buffalo Bills this past March for a handful of draft picks.
Mike Zimmer says the Minnesota Vikings were not trying to trade Stefon Diggs.
Prior to dealing the talented receiver to Buffalo, Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman attempted to quiet the rumors of a possible Diggs trade by saying that “there is no reason to anticipate Stefon Diggs is not going to be a Minnesota Viking,” in 2020.
Now, even after the receiver has actually been traded, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer is still sticking to the story that the team was never looking to deal Diggs. Zimmer recently appeared on the Rich Eisen Show and he was asked why Minnesota ultimately felt like they needed to trade one of their top receivers.
"“Honestly, Diggs did not have to go. We really didn’t have any intention of trading him. Really what happened was Buffalo came in and gave us all those picks. We were up against it in the salary cap, so we just felt like we could save some money and get a bunch of picks.I wish him well. He’s a good kid. He worked hard for me. If you said somebody was a pain in the butt, you probably wouldn’t say it was him. I hope he has a great career and finishes up strong.”"
First off, the fact that Zimmer mentions the Vikings feeling like they could save some money by trading Diggs indicates moving the receiver elsewhere was something that was actually being considered by the team well before the deal with the Bills happened.
The notion of saving cap space doesn’t just pop into a team’s head after they’re presented with an enticing trade offer. Moving Diggs was likely not a top priority for Minnesota this offseason. But at the same time, they weren’t going to say no to a potential deal that could benefit their team in a better way than just keeping the receiver would have.
So is Zimmer telling the truth? Maybe a little bit, but it’s incredibly hard to believe that the Vikings weren’t listening to trade offers for Diggs after some of his antics last season and the fact that the team needed to let go of some assets this year in order to improve other areas of their roster.