What's next for Stefon Diggs?
The star wide receiver had three catches for 44 yards in Minnesota's 28-10 victory over the Giants on Sunday, and after the game he was squashing trade speculation until ESPN's Josina Anderson asked him if he wants to be in Minnesota.
With a smirk brewing on his face, Diggs answered: "Yeah, I want to be in Minnesota," before flashing a big smile and delivering a wink.
Aside from the wink, Diggs said all the right things. He wasn't bothered playing third fiddle in the passing attack with Adam Thielen and Dalvin Cook leading the team in receptions, saying his individual success is "part of the team success."
Diggs also said he should've communicated better when he was battling a cold last week, sticking to his story that a quick illness is what kept him away from team meetings on Monday and absent from practice on Wednesday.
The absences, apparently unexcused, cost Diggs a $200,000 fine from the Vikings, according to reports. Diggs took full responsibility for his errors, noting that any talk of him being disgruntled is untrue.
“It was never not good,” Diggs said, again trying to silence speculation that he was unhappy with the run-first offensive approach the first four weeks of the season. “Outside people got things a little shaky, but at this point, I’m a team guy. I’m here and I want to win.”
All of this just days after Diggs fueled trade speculation by saying "there's truth to all rumors."
But that wink...
If Diggs is traded, longtime NFL reporter Peter King wrote what he calls a logical landing spot for the 25-year-old wide receiver. But King says it would only make sense if Minnesota's playoff hopes are faded before the Oct. 29 trade deadline.
From King in his weekly Football Morning in America column:
"5. I think Stefon Diggs to the Patriots at the trading deadline makes sense, especially if the season goes south for Minnesota. Say, for second and fourth-round picks in 2020. A first-rounder strikes me as too rich for Diggs, but a low second isn’t enough. New England never worries about the consequences of trading picks, and won’t if in three weeks they’re getting zero tight end production and still are needy at wideout.
"6. I think what makes the trade pretty attractive for New England is that Diggs is 25, has a contract reasonable for a good to very good wideout, and has zero guaranteed money in the last year of it. So the Patriots could cut him before his age-30 season in 2023 without financial consequences. Would you want Diggs, now 25, for the next 3.5 years at $37.2 million? I sure would, if what I had to give up was, say, the 60th and 125th picks to get him."
The Vikings are 3-2 entering their Week 6 home game against Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles. Win that and they're 4-2 going into a Week 7 matchup in Detroit, which will be followed by a Thursday nighter against the winless Washington Redskins.
It shouldn't shock anyone if the Vikings win all three and head into Week 9 at 7-2. But it also wouldn't be a shock if the Vikings lose to Philly and Detroit, beat Washington, and head into Weeks 9 and 10 (at Kansas City and Dallas) with a 4-4 record.
At 4-4, 7-2 or somewhere in between, it'll still be tough to count the Vikings out of the playoff race by the Oct. 29 deadline.
Remember, Diggs is in the first year of a five-year, $78 million contract that he signed a year ago. Minnesota doesn't have to trade him, even if he does want out.