A Stefon Diggs trade would be difficult, but far from impossible
After news broke on Tuesday that Bills receiver Stefon Diggs was not practice for the team’s mandatory minicamp, a narrative emerged.
The Bills can’t trade him due to the contract extension he signed last year.
Obviously, they can trade him. Any player can be traded, even if he has a no-trade clause (as long as he waives it). The question is whether the team is willing to suffer the cap consequences of doing so.
Because June 1 has come and gone, the Bills would suffer NO cap consequences in 2022 for trading Stefon Diggs. None. (Actually, the Bills would gain $1.165 million by shifting Diggs’s salary to a new team.)
Next year, yes, the Bills would take a cap charge. His $21.5 million signing bonus from 2022 has $12.9 million in unallocated dollars. His $16 million option bonus from 2023 has $12.8 million in unallocated dollars. And a $6.745 million restructuring bonus from 2023 has $5.396 million in unallocated dollars.
That’s a total cap charge of $31 million that the Bills would absorb in 2024. However, the Bills also would avoid paying Diggs $18 million in cash. Also, his various bonus payments would count for another $8.849 million, giving him a cap charge in 2024 of $26.849 million.
So while the Bills would eat $31 million next year by trading Diggs, it’s a net difference of only $4.151 million over what the Bills already will carry next year under the cap for Diggs.
Thus, it can be done. And, until we know exactly what Diggs wants, it’s a possibility that can’t be entirely dismissed.