By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
This is just gonna be a thing every year, isn’t it.
Stefon Diggs is getting cryptic, and Patriots Twitter is immediately getting excited because clearly it means Bill Belichick is about to swoop in and pry the dynamic receiver from the Minnesota Vikings.
It started with the simple fact that Diggs has removed all references to the Vikings from his Twitter and Instagram pages. And a quick scroll down his Twitter reveals some delightfully mysterious tweets from the past several days and as soon as Wednesday morning.
As fun as it would be to just outrageously dissect every letter of Diggs’ riddles, this is far from the first time speculation has risen out of his social media activity. And definitely not the first time the line was drawn directly from Diggs to Foxboro.
Not to ruin everyone’s fun. Go nuts with the tweets and the things. It’s just that if Belichick decided to trade for Diggs out of nowhere, the move would be unprecedented for him in New England.
Is Belichick going to swap significant draft capital for a single player on an expensive long-term deal that he didn’t get to structure himself?
Per Spotrac, Diggs is still due up to $47.5 million over the next four seasons, including $15.5 million in guarantees. If the Vikings trade him before June 1, they would save $5.5 million against the cap – but they’d also save $9 million if they traded him in 2021, and $12 million if they traded him in 2022.
While it’s not impossible that Diggs could be moved – you can’t rule anything completely out with Belichick and the Patriots – the hypothetical trade doesn’t make much sense for either side right now, assuming it would be Diggs for draft picks.
Belichick could certainly view Diggs as a worthwhile investment at his current figures. His $11.5 million in salary and bonuses (again, still guaranteed) would make him the 14th-highest-paid receiver in football next season. But there’s a reason that Belichick has never made this kind of investment in any one player, let alone a receiver. He’s not exactly in the business of trading a first round pick and lord-knows-what-else for a player with this kind of term and real-life money waiting for him.
Oooooobviously Diggs would be amazing in the Patriots offense. And hell, maybe it’s more palatable of a move if it means Tom Brady re-signs for a reasonable amount and the Pats shove their chips for ring No. 7. That point is not worthy of a debate.
The likelihood of such a move, however, should be debated. Even as unlikely as it may seem that the Patriots would instead trade their first-round pick for a receiver on his rookie deal like Kenny Golladay or Chris Godwin, those moves still seem more plausible than Diggs.
A thousand apologies for plopping a nice cold, wet blanket on the Diggs speculation. It just seems like he’s having a moment out in Minnesota right now and he’s not exactly going to be spotted at Logan Airport any time soon. Or maybe it’ll happen and I’ll be a stupid idiot for daring to question this thing. Clearly this isn’t going to stop the speculation, because that’s what we do in the NFL offseason.
UPDATE: Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network says there’s nothing brewing between the Vikings and Diggs. It’s just Stefon being Stefon. Which really underlines why the Patriots may be even less interested in him than anyone would want to believe.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.