Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs spoke to local media for the first time since he was traded from the Minnesota Vikings in March, expressing excitement over his new opportunity in western New York.
He also bristled at the notion that he forced his way out of Minnesota.
When asked what made him believe his current situation would be better than his previous one, given that he vocally expressed his displeasure with the Vikings, Diggs said he never expressed his concerns publicly.
“As far as my past with Minnesota, I never actually said anything,” he said Wednesday. “But, to this new situation, I’m excited. There is no right or wrong or problems to be fixed from my old situation. I have a lot of respect for the Minnesota Vikings. At that time, a trade happened — you’ve kind of got to look at it for what it is. But I never really was vocal about what I did or didn’t like (in Minnesota).”
The Vikings fined Diggs more than $200,000 last season for unexcused absences from practices and meetings, sources told ESPN in October, when he missed multiple meetings and practices in the days leading up to the team’s game against the New York Giants. Rumors swirled about a potential trade involving Diggs — rumors that he admits there was some “truth” to.
Ultimately, Diggs remained a Viking through the entirety of the 2019 season, finishing with a career-high 1,130 yards and six touchdowns on 63 catches.
However, shortly after the Vikings signed quarterback Kirk Cousins to an extension in March, Diggs tweeted “it’s time for a new beginning,” which struck teams around the league as a sign the receiver wanted out of Minnesota. He was traded to the Bills later that night.
He referenced the tweet during his news conference Wednesday, but downplayed it being a vocal complaint.
“I never really was too vocal about it,” he reiterated. “‘It’s time for a new beginning’ was enough said. I am super excited for my new situation. This is also a great organization built on a lot of hardworking guys. A lot of guys that really grinded to get to where they’re at.
“I trust the people that are in place, I’m just happy to be a part of it. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel or anything, I just want to be as helpful as I can, be a puzzle piece and try to mesh as well as I can to help this team win.”