Do Minnesota Vikings fans owe Stefon Diggs an apology?

(Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins and Stefon Diggs
(Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins and Stefon Diggs /

It only took one season with Kirk Cousins for Stefon Diggs to want the Minnesota Vikings to trade him to another team.

In March of 2020, reports began to circulate that the Minnesota Vikings and quarterback Kirk Cousins had agreed to a new two-year contract extension. Coincidentally, shortly after the news began to spread about Cousins’ new deal, Stefon Diggs, who was still a member of the Vikings at the time, tweeted “it’s time for a new beginning.”

After Diggs posted this tweet, a lot of Vikings fans, including myself, wanted Minnesota to just give him what he wanted and get him off the team. He was beginning to become too much of a distraction and trading him elsewhere was going to be the best decision for the Vikings and the disgruntled receiver.

But looking back on it, we were probably too harsh on Diggs. He knew what a lot of us are finally starting to realize about Cousins’ lack of leadership ability and how it was never going to result in Minnesota winning a championship.

Stefon Diggs saw a disaster in the making and the Minnesota Vikings didn’t want to hear it

We all know about Diggs’ infamous “there’s truth to all rumors” press conference after he skipped a mandatory Vikings practice early in the 2019 season. But his desire to get out of Minnesota started much earlier than that.

When Diggs skipped Vikings OTAs in 2019, he and the team brushed it off like it was nothing since the sessions were voluntary. But this was one of the first signs that the receiver was trying to get out of the Twin Cities.

All it took was one season of Cousins throwing him the ball for the current Buffalo Bills receiver to begin looking for ways out of Minnesota.

Diggs has said in the past that he wanted to leave the Vikings because he didn’t like that the offense was going to be more focused on running the ball than airing it out.

But in 2015 and 2017 when Diggs helped Minnesota make the playoffs, the team’s bread and butter was running the ball. Neither the 2015 Vikings nor the 2017 team ranked higher than 21st in passing attempts.

This philosophy resulted in Minnesota earning an appearance in the 2017 NFC Championship and it helped get Diggs a lucrative contract extension before the 2018 season began. Complaints about the offense were nowhere to be found during this time from the former Vikings receiver.

Some will say that Diggs complemented and defended Cousins on numerous occasions during their time as teammates. Yeah, because these statements were available for the public to hear or see.

Both Diggs and Cousins care a tremendous amount about their image. So just because these two are praising each other in the public eye, doesn’t mean that things were all rainbows and unicorns behind the scenes.

If Diggs is going to express his opinion about someone or something he doesn’t like, aside from the “there’s truth to all rumors” incident, he typically goes about it in a fairly subtle manner like with a cryptic tweet or something that else that only a few people close to him will understand.

Take a look at what Diggs said earlier this year about his current quarterback in Buffalo, Josh Allen.

"“I would go to war for him each and every day. I practice hard for him each and every day. We’re striving to be great and going on a battlefield, you trust a guy that’s got your back. And he never once, he didn’t turn his back on me, he didn’t say anything slick. He’s got my back right or wrong and I’m rocking with my guy.”"

The part about him trusting Allen and him not turning his back on the receiver is what sticks out the most. Makes one wonder if Diggs ever felt betrayed by something Cousins did during their time together.

This guy caught passes from three different quarterbacks in his first three seasons with the Vikings. But it wasn’t until the end of his fourth season in 2018 with Cousins throwing him the ball that things started to unravel.

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Was it a coincidence? Probably not.