Getting Stefon Diggs out of the NFC helped persuade Vikings to trade him
At the Scouting Combine, Simms and I asked Vikings G.M. Rick Spielman, who famously said in 2013 that the Vikings “have no intent to trade Percy Harvin,” to look into the camera and say that the Vikings have no intent to trade Stefon Diggs.
Said Spielman, “Stefon Diggs is a Minnesota Viking.”
He isn’t now, traded only a few weeks later to Buffalo. With Spielman appearing recently on #PFTPM, I asked him what happened to make the team decide that keeping Diggs in Minnesota would no longer work.
“We weren’t looking to trade Stefon at all,” Spielman insisted. “I know we had just signed him under a contract as a young explosive playmaker that had a lot of great years that he has been here, we drafted him in the fifth round and he has developed into one of the top receivers but, you know, when opportunities come your way and we felt that it was a great deal for Buffalo to get a player of that caliber and we felt we got in exchange the fair amount of draft picks we would have looked for if we were going to trade him, and it ended up happening that we did trade him.”
As the Vikings evaluated the offer they received from the Bills, which included a first-round pick and three other selections, one factor that helped tip the balance was that they would be getting Diggs out of the NFC.
“I don’t know if we would have traded him to Green Bay or Detroit or Chicago . . . but it does help when you can get him into a different conference than us potentially playing against him,” Spielman said.
The Vikings won’t see Diggs again in the regular season until 2022. Unless both teams make it to the Super Bowl before then. Which would be a compelling, something’s-gotta-give championship game, given that Minnesota and Buffalo are a combined 0-8 at that level.
Back to Harvin, the former first-round pick of the Vikings recently has said he’d like to return to the NFL. So, in order to take things full circle, I asked Spielman to close the interview with this line, and he complied: “We have no intent to sign Percy Harvin.”