NFL Rumors: 5 teams who could trade for Stefon Diggs

Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings seem unlikely to trade Stefon Diggs, but these five teams should be ready to make a deal just in case.

In some way, we’ve been here before. After a frustrating loss to the Chicago Bears in Week 4 last season, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs failed to show up for team meetings, missed practice with the excuse he was sick. The team fined him $200,000 anyway, but trade speculation faded quickly as the Vikings started winning games.

Diggs seems to scrub his Instagram feed of all Vikings’ references each offseason, and he has done so again now. His Twitter feed has also been the source of speculation and angst over “what it means” in terms of his happiness.

Diggs is clearly one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, and Pro Football Focus grades him very highly in measures like contested catch rate and yards per route run. Last season, he set a career high with 1,130 receiving yards while averaging 17.9 yard per catch.

But a Gary Kubiak influenced offense has a run-based formula, and Kubiak is now the Vikings’ offensive coordinator by title with Kevin Stefanski’s departure to become head coach of the Cleveland Browns. So the system is not changing this year.

Diggs had 94 targets last season, as Adam Thielen missed a big chunk of games with a hamstring injury and he functioned as the clear-cut No. 1 wide receiver. But 45 players had more targets than Diggs did, including such luminaries as Cole Beasley and Christian Kirk. That lack of usage has to dig at someone of Diggs’ talent.

It’s hard to know if Diggs has, or at some point will, make the situation untenable for the Vikings behind the scenes or publicly. Trading him would be aggressive under any circumstance, since taking a big piece away from Kirk Cousins (with almost an automatic downgrade replacing Diggs) in what is still a win-now year is not at all ideal.

On his Tuesday radio show, Colin Cowherd of Fox Sports suggested Diggs is unhappy and the Vikings would move him for the “right pick.”

A more credible report at some point would be nice, but these five teams should be watching Diggs’ situation closely and be ready to make a trade offer.

Mandatory Credit: Jason Miller/Getty Images

5. Cleveland Browns

If only to root of a bit of chaos, which the Browns always seem not to far from anyway, imagine a receiving corp with Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry and Diggs. The Browns have the space ($61.96 million right now, via Over The Cap) to take on Diggs’ $14.5 cap hit this year, and the cap hits over the final three years of his contract ($15 million, $15 million and $12 million) are not necessarily prohibitive along with exit paths that get more and more palatable.

As previously mentioned, Kevin Stefanski went from Vikings’ offensive coordinator to Browns’ head coach. That might be a tie that draws Diggs’ interest in a reunion, and if a move to trade Beckham comes there’s room for Diggs to fit in a little better on the field as well as on Cleveland’s balance sheet. The odds aren’t great here, but don’t rule out Diggs to the Browns.

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