Bills GM Brandon Beane Discusses the Surprising Stefon Diggs Trade

One of the more surprising moves this offseason has been the Bills trading Stefon Diggs. Now, general manager Brandon Beane has opened up on the move.

The Buffalo Bills shocked the NFL world when they decided to trade Stefon Diggs earlier this offseason. For a team in Super Bowl contention, the trade came as a surprise to many, even if Diggs’ production tailed off in the second half of last season.

On a recent podcast appearance, Bills’ general manager Brandon Beane discussed the team’s decision to part ways with the star wide receiver.

Why Did the Bills Trade Stefon Diggs?

In an interview on The Athletic Football Show, Beane went into detail as to why the team decided to trade Diggs this offseason.

“A player of his caliber, you weigh a lot of things in those situations,” said Beane. “Ultimately, we just talked about the cap … I would say, from a cap standpoint, we decided just to go ahead and eat it now. We think we can compete and do what we need to do by eating it now.

“If we didn’t, if we tried to come up with some way to split it up too many different ways, then now it’s just like that albatross hanging on your neck all year,” said Beane. “You look at your cap, and you’re going, look how much money we still have dead.”

Ultimately, the salary cap played a major role in the decision to trade Diggs. It wasn’t just Diggs, either, as the Bills had to part ways with multiple key veterans (Jordan Poyer, Mitch Morse, Tre’Davious White) in order to manage the cap.

Diggs ended his four-year Bills tenure with 445 receptions for 5,372 yards and 37 touchdowns. In the trade with the Houston Texans, Buffalo received a 2025 second-round pick in exchange for Diggs, a 2024 sixth-round pick, and a 2025 fifth-round selection.

Diggs’ Contract Details

Prior to being traded, Diggs was in the middle of a four-year extension worth $96 million that he had signed before 2022. It had included a $21.5 million signing bonus with $70 million guaranteed.

Diggs was set to make $18 million in 2025, $19 million in 2026, and $17.495 million in 2027. However, his deal was quickly adjusted by Houston after the trade.

MORE: Who Are the NFL’s Highest-Paid WRs in 2024?

Diggs’ new deal is now a one-year contract worth $22.5 million, including a $20.8 million signing bonus and $22.015 million guaranteed. He’ll be a free agent following the 2024 season, essentially showing that Houston is going all in this season.

The Bills are left with over $31 million in dead cap due to the trade, while the Texans only endure a 2024 cap hit of $5.8 million.

Bills’ Wide Receiver Depth Chart

For the Bills, 2024 will see an essentially new WR room. On top of Diggs, Buffalo also lost Gabe Davis in free agency and cut receiver/return specialist Deonte Harty. Between Diggs and Davis, the Bills have a ton of production from last season they’ll have to replace — 152 receptions, 1,929 yards, and 15 touchdowns.

Buffalo’s top returning receiver from last season is Khalil Shakir, who will likely start in the slot. In two NFL seasons, however, Shakir has provided modest production with 49 receptions for 772 yards and three touchdowns.

With a dearth of depth at wide receiver, the Bills used their first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft (32nd overall) to draft WR Keon Coleman out of Florida State.

At 6’4″, 210 pounds, Coleman was one of the best contested-catch threats in the country last season. In 2023, he caught 50 passes for 658 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also had 798 yards and seven touchdowns in 2022.

Then there’s the third starter and most notable free agent addition, Curtis Samuel, who comes to Buffalo after spending the previous three seasons in Washington. In his career, Samuel has 317 receptions for 3,383 yards and 22 touchdowns, making him the most-tenured receiver on the roster.

KEEP READING: 2024 NFL Wide Receiver Rankings

Some other notable names on the roster include Mack Hollins, Chase Claypool, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Those three combine for 17 total years of NFL experience, along with 492 receptions, 7,107 yards, and 39 touchdowns.

Finally, the rest of the receivers on the roster include Justin Shorter, KJ Hamler, Andy Isabella, Tyrell Shavers, Bryan Thompson, Lawrence Keys, and Xavier Johnson.

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