NFL

Are the Patriots in on Stefon Diggs? Should They Be?

So Mattes and I were discussing the merits of a potential Stefon Diggs trade, which is the biggest ongoing rumor since Danny Ainge was destined to trade for Anthony Davis. Until he didn’t. It just seems like one of those things where there’s smoke there’s fire. It’s dangerous to read into social media posts with zero context, but Diggs has been subtweeting the hell out of the Vikings for months now.

I’ll admit, I’ve tweeted the eyes emoji at or about Stefon Diggs several times in the last few months.

The Patriots are in desperate need of an upgrade at Wide Receiver so there’s definitely a need for the player, but does it make sense for the team? First off they should definitely consider the move, but I can’t see the Pats trading away draft capital and then paying his huge salary. Diggs has four years left on his deal too and you don’t see guys with that many years left getting dealt too often.

What would it take to get a guy like Diggs? Well with that many years and his level of production (165 catches, 2,151 yards, and 15 TDs the last two years) it would seem like a 1st rounder would have to be included. With the Patriots having their highest pick of their own in years it’s hard to see them dealing that away to chase yet another veteran receiver that may or may not pan out. If Diggs really pisses in the Cheerios in Minnesota and forces his way out then maybe the Pats can swing in with a lowball offer, but they’re not going to pay premium prices only to then have to pay Diggs top dollar on top of that.

In other big receiver trades of yesteryear, New England traded a 4th rounder for Randy Moss and just 2nd and 7th rounders for Wes Welker.

The Patriots did however trade a 1st for Brandin Cooks and a 4th, but they only had to pay him $1.5M, and then subsequently flipped him to the Rams for a 1st. That’s value.

Diggs is set to have cap hits of $14.5M, $15M, $15M, and $12M before becoming a free agent in 2024. I find it extremely hard to believe the Patriots would be willing to roster that kind of contract at the receiver position, especially with their highest paid WR in Julian Edelman at $7M next season.

And thats before we even get to the purple cow in the room that is one Thomas Edward Patrick Brady. The Patriots have a potentially gigantic problem looming with his contract and dead money. Basically if Brady re-signs before free agency begins on March 18th his dead cap hit of $13.5M would be split up over the next two seasons. However Brady seems pretty intent on testing free agency. So if he stays with the Patriots, but re-signs after March 18th, that massive cap hit stays on top of whatever New England pays him in 2020. Even if Brady leaves to sign with another team, the Patriots are still stuck with that $13.5M in dead money.

Yikes.

So thats kind of a problem. If he stays in Foxborough, it’s even more money eating into the team cap, which I am more than OK with, but the reality is the team will be utilizing a much larger percentage of their cap to roster Brady than they probably are used to.

So would I love to see Stefon Diggs running fly routes for TB12? One hundred percent, but I just don’t think it’s realistic unless it’s an AJ Wright level discount or Diggs is willing to significantly restructure his contract. Never say never with Bill Belichick though.

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