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Kirk Cousins: Stefon Diggs trade worked out well with how Justin Jefferson has played

Mike Florio and Myles Simmons are done betting against the Vikings and are interested to see how they perform in a big litmus test against the Bills in Week 10.

For two years together in Minnesota, Kirk Cousins and Stefon Diggs were an effective quarterback-receiver pairing. Then the Vikings traded Diggs to Buffalo, and Cousins admits he was concerned.

But in that trade the Vikings acquired the Bills’ first-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft, and they selected wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who made instantly replaced Diggs’ role in the offense. As the Vikings prepare to play the Bills on Sunday, Cousins says it all worked out.

“I think it’s one that’s worked out for everybody involved,” Cousins said. “Stefon was looking for a different opportunity, and his production in Buffalo would suggest that’s worked out very well for him. . . . Being able to get Justin made it sting a little less, with the way Justin’s played. But make no mistake about it, Stefon is an elite receiver, he’s shown that here, he’s shown that there, and he’s doing it again this year, and it doesn’t surprise me in the least, having played with him.”

Cousins said Diggs let him know months before the March 2020 trade that he was asking the Vikings to move him, and that Diggs assured him it wasn’t about any frustration with Cousins.

“Stefon was looking for another opportunity and I’m happy for him,” Cousins said. “He made it pretty clear from the start, ‘This has nothing to do with you.’ We talked about it. In pro sports, there’s a level of players needing to protect themselves, look out for themselves and their careers, and I understand that.”

The Vikings took a risk when they granted Diggs’ trade request, and that decision would look a lot different if some other team had drafted Jefferson before the Vikings got him with the 22nd pick. But Jefferson made the risk pay off.