Patriots Were Finalists For Stefon Diggs

The Bills’ thrilling run to the AFC Championship Game almost never happened. It’s unlikely Buffalo would’ve made it this far without Stefon Diggs, and they apparently came very close to losing him to a division rival.

Diggs was very nearly traded to the Patriots this past offseason, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports. We had heard back in March that the Pats had expressed some interest, but we didn’t know how close they came until now. Rapoport writes that Buffalo and New England were the two finalists, and that the Vikings gave the Patriots a chance to match the Bills’ last offer.

Bill Belichick declined, and the rest is history. Interestingly, Rapoport adds that Minnesota never intended to trade the star wideout, “but had a number in mind of what it would take if it did.” He also writes that the Bills first tried trading for Diggs at the 2019 trade deadline but were rebuffed.

It’s fun to think about what would’ve happened had Belichick landed the top wideout. Diggs was ultimately traded on March 16th, the day before Tom Brady announced he’d be leaving New England. It’s unlikely that would’ve convinced Brady to stay as it seems his mind had been made up, but it would’ve at least given Cam Newton and the passing game a real viable threat in 2020.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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13 comments on “Patriots Were Finalists For Stefon Diggs

    • arthur blank_for owner

      if so there are 31 other teams willing to take that chance on ol’ Bill

      • GoLandCrabs

        Never said he couldn’t find a job elsewhere. And saying 31 other teams is an exaggeration. Quite a few teams would not trade their current HC for Bill.

    • bradthebluefish

      Agreed. Not sure what Bill Belichick had to lose by paying Tom Brady. Not like he had another starting QB at the ready.

      • Ak185

        He wanted to move on. It wasn’t all about Brady-with the impending free agents all over the defense and offensive line, Belichick knew that the rebuild was happening sooner rather than later. Instead of delaying the inevitable, he decided to go ahead and get a head start without going back and forth with a disgruntled QB. Brady making teams come and woo him at his mansion likely didn’t help.

  1. PatsFanBiff

    I don’t think Tampa’s or KC’s receiving corp would have made much of a difference with how Cam played. I watched every game (living in NWE) and Cam simply doesn’t have it anymore.

    • Ak185

      I don’t know-some of it was on Cam, as he has lost an incredible amount of accuracy since his shoulder injury, and some was on the inability of receivers to get open. Damiere Byrd was probably the most consistent receiver for New England this year. Myers had a few pretty bad drops and Harry was mostly invisible. Newton did do a good job running, but the offense was really just a mess all around and just didn’t look settled after the early good start.

      Cam’s struggles with timing and accuracy were a part of that, but I do think that some better receiver play would have helped. McDaniels is used to scheming open all these receivers underneath-Cam was always at his best throwing open contested catches and using his running ability to draw defenders. The two systems are quite different, and ask the players to do different things.

      I don’t think Newton was right for what McDaniels is comfortable doing, I don’t think that the receivers helped enough, and I don’t think Cam has the same throwing ability as he did before. That said, the Pats didn’t pay much for him, and McDaniels did do an okay job utilizing Cam’s rushing ability productively. They did squeeze out enough wins to end a game under .500, so it wasn’t completely useless.

  2. bradthebluefish

    Cam Newton would have never been able to utilize Diggs properly. Good on Belichick to save the draft picks… albeit we haven’t drafted too well in years.

    • Yes, definitely. It’s time for the Patriots to build back via the draft. There’s a few 8-8 / 9-7 / 10-6 seasons in front of them, particularly as both the Dolphins and the Bills look to be competitive for a few years.

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