What really happened between the Bills and Stefon Diggs?
From time to time, NFL coaches, players, General Managers, and/or owners tell the public something other than the truth. It’s easily justified; whether to advance a secret strategy or to protect the “best interests of the team,” a lie often becomes far more beneficial to the entity telling it than the reality-based alternative.
On Wednesday, Bills coach Sean McDermott offered up a variety of whoppers regarding the Tuesday exit by receiver Stefon Diggs. McDermott tried to act as if nothing happened, a day after McDermott said he was “very concerned” about Diggs’s absence from mandatory minicamp and the Bills told PFT that Diggs was in the building and left before practice began.
The Bills, in the midst of Tuesday’s chaos, didn’t say Diggs left with permission and/or an invitation to do so. The Bills didn’t say the resulting absence was excused. They simple said he was there, and he left.
Then came the press conference from quarterback Josh Allen, during which it became painfully clear that something is wrong between Diggs and the Bills.
On Wednesday, McDermott said the departure was excused. That it was no big deal. It reminded me of the Seinfeld episode where Costanza quits his job on a Friday and shows up on Monday pretending that nothing happened.
Something clearly happened between the Bills and Diggs. It seems fairly obvious that Diggs got into an argument with someone. It seems fairly obvious that tempers flared.
So how did it all fall apart? Although we’ve been led to believe Diggs stormed out, it’s possible that someone told Diggs to go. Remember when we thought Antonio Brown quit on the Bucs but then found out that coach Bruce Arians told him to make like a shepherd and get the flock out?
Given that Diggs suggested on social media that someone is lying, maybe the lie was that Diggs walked out. Maybe the truth is that he was told to get out.
It’s also possible Diggs did indeed storm out. If so, it wouldn’t have been very difficult for someone to explain to him why he needed to storm back.
“Stef, the Bills aren’t trading you. So your choices are to play for them or play for no one. And if you choose to play for no one, you’ll eventually owe $33.2 million to the Bills, for money you’ve previously been paid but have yet to earn.”
Regardless of what happened on Tuesday, by Wednesday it was solved. It feels tenuous, and potentially temporary. It could be, at most, a one-year Band-Aid.
And, as I’ll explain in a later post, it puts tremendous pressure on McDermott and the coaching staff for 2023.