Bills trade star WR Diggs to Texans for draft pick

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The Buffalo Bills traded four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Stefon Diggs to the Houston Texans for draft pick compensation Wednesday.

The Bills received a 2025 second-round pick (via the Minnesota Vikings) in exchange for Diggs, a 2024 sixth-round pick (No. 189 overall) and a 2025 fifth-round pick. The Texans acquired that pick from the Vikings when they traded their 2024 first-round pick to Minnesota last month.

The trade comes a day after Diggs responded “You sure?” to a social media user’s declaration that he wasn’t essential to Bills quarterback Josh Allen’s success.

It’s the latest win-now move for the Texans, who are surrounding quarterback C.J. Stroud with veteran talent this offseason.

The Texans traded for running back Joe Mixon last month, acquiring him from the Cincinnati Bengals and then signing him to a three-year, $27 million extension. They also made a splash on the defensive side, signing star pass-rusher Danielle Hunter to a two-year, $49 million contract, including $48 million guaranteed, in free agency.

Diggs, 30, joins a loaded Texans offense that is headlined by Stroud, the NFL’s reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year, and includes Mixon, receivers Nico Collins and Tank Dell and tight end Dalton Schultz.

In the 2023 season, Dell was on pace for 1,205 receiving yards before suffering a season-ending injury in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos in Week 13. Dell and Stroud finished with the eighth most passing yards for a first-year quarterback and wide receiver duo (709). Collins ranked eighth in receiving yards (1,297) and had eight touchdowns.

Last month, the Texans tried to trade for Keenan Allen and offered a Day 2 pick from the 2025 draft. The Los Angeles Chargers instead sent Allen to the Chicago Bears, but it was a sign the Texans were eager to improve their receiver core to help Stroud in his second season.

The Bills, meanwhile, have moved on from several veterans this offseason. Buffalo released cornerstone defensive players Tre’Davious White and Jordan Poyer and starting center Mitch Morse in salary cap moves. In addition, receiver Gabriel Davis signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars and outside linebacker Leonard Floyd signed with the San Francisco 49ers in free agency.

Last season, Diggs had repeatedly publicly expressed a commitment to the Bills and a desire to retire with the team. The three-time captain signed a four-year, $104 million contract extension in April 2022.

The Bills will carry a dead money charge of $31.096 million next season after trading Diggs, according to Roster Management System. That will be the highest known dead money charge ever for a wide receiver in any season, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

Last year, Diggs was “excused” from the first day of the team’s mandatory minicamp by coach Sean McDermott, who said he thought the matter with his star receiver was “resolved.” That clarification came a day after he had said he was “very concerned” about Diggs’ absence.

Diggs spoke during the season about his continued commitment to the Bills, saying in November, “I’ve never really said anything about being unhappy or any instance of that. So, when you’re drawing conclusions as to stuff I’ve never said, that’s what kind of troubles me because it kind of throws a wrench in it. It kind of creates chaos where I haven’t created.

“Chaos created around me, whereas I just been in the same space, I’ve been in the same place, and I’ve spoken true words. I’ve said the same thing over and over and over. So, when you draw a conclusion as to how I feel in my foreseeable future here, I’ve never said anything, but I was a Buffalo Bill. I gave it everything I got. I’m a professional and I treat this game as such.”

At the time, Diggs was distancing himself from tweets his brother, Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs, wrote, including: “Man 14 Gotta get up outta there.”

Stefon Diggs’ production decreased following the first six games of the 2023 season. He did not have another 100-yard receiving game the rest of the season and only caught three more touchdowns. Over the Bills’ final seven games of last season, including the playoffs, Diggs averaged 41.0 receiving yards per game and had zero touchdowns. It’s the only time in Diggs’ career that he has gone seven straight games without a touchdown.

General manager Brandon Beane said after the season that he still viewed Diggs as a No. 1 receiver.

Diggs set a variety of team and league records during his time with the team, including being one of four players in NFL history to record four consecutive seasons with 100-plus receptions (Antonio Brown, Davante Adams and Marvin Harrison are the others).

His acquisition in 2020 (in a trade with the Vikings that included the Bills’ first-round pick) coincided with the rise of Allen’s performance. Allen’s second-best total QBR in the NFL and 137 passing touchdowns in that span trail only Patrick Mahomes.

Diggs is one of two receivers to be selected to the Pro Bowl in each of the past four seasons, along with Tyreek Hill.

The trade of Diggs leaves a Bills depth chart topped by 2024 free agent additions Curtis Samuel (Washington Commanders), Mack Hollins (Atlanta Falcons) and Khalil Shakir, who had 39 receptions for 611 yards and two touchdowns for Buffalo last season.

Upon the news of the trade, ESPN BET moved the Texans from +140 to +115 to win the AFC South, from 11-1 to +750 to win the AFC and from 22-1 to 18-1 to win the Super Bowl. The Bills, meanwhile, moved from +135 to +160 to win the AFC East, from +600 to +750 to win the AFC and from 12-1 to 13-1 to win the Super Bowl.

Diggs will face his old team next season as the Texans will host the Bills at NRG Stadium. The date of the game won’t be known until the 2024 schedule is released, likely in May.

ESPN’s DJ Bien-Aime, Alaina Getzenberg and Doug Greenberg contributed to this report.

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