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A Stefon Diggs trade would be difficult, but far from impossible

Mike Florio and Chris Simms dissect the timeline of events regarding Stefon Diggs, who was present for the Bills’ mandatory minicamp Tuesday morning but left before the start of practice.

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.