Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins revealed that Stefon Diggs told him he was not the reason he requested a trade.
This Sunday, two of the best teams in the NFL do battle, as the 7-1 Minnesota Vikings take on the 6-2 Buffalo Bills. Of course, this will be the first time that Bills wide receiver takes on his former team in the Vikings. Diggs was selected in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft, became a star, but requested a trade back in 2020, which was ultimately granted.
On Wednesday, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins said that he talked to Diggs, where the wide receiver said the trade request “has nothing to do with you.”
Kirk Cousins speaks on Stefon Diggs trade request
“He made it pretty clear from the start that ‘this has nothing to do with you,’” said Cousins. “In pro sports, there’s a level of players needed to protect themselves and look out for themselves in their careers. And I understand that, and everyone in this locker room does. I understood where he was coming from.”
Diggs became a hero in Minnesota professional sports, after his game-winning touchdown catch in the NFC Divisional Round against the New Orleans Saints following the 2017 season. That is forever known as the Minneapolis Miracle game, which sent the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game.
The receiver’s final season took place in 2019, where his targets dropped to 94 on the year, as opposed to his 149 the year prior. That year, the Vikings passed the ball a total of 466 times, and ran it 476 times.
During an interview with ESPN’s Sam Borden back in 2020, Diggs said he didn’t have any issue with his teammates, including Cousins.
“People have a common misconception that I don’t love my old team,” Diggs says. “I have nothing but love and respect for those guys. But where they were and where they were headed … in my eyes, it wasn’t going to be in the best interest of my career. As a receiver, if you want to have success, you’ve got to catch the ball.”
After the 2019 season, Diggs requested a trade, and was ultimately dealt to the Bills in exchange for their first-, fifth, and sixth-round picks in 2020 and a fourth-rounder in 2021. The first round pick Minnesota acquired was used to select Justin Jefferson, who has since become a superstar for the team.
In Diggs’ first two seasons with Buffalo, he made the Pro Bowl in each, while recording over 100 receptions and 1,000 receiving yards. 2020 was a career-year, as he caught 127 passes for 1,535 yards, both of which led the NFL last year.
Through eight games this season, Diggs caught 60 receptions for 857 yards and a league-high seven touchdowns on 83 targets.
The Vikings-Bills game is one of the best on the Week 10 schedule, and it will see Diggs face his former team for the first time.