The Stefon Diggs drama in Buffalo provided plenty of entertainment and intrigue for roughly 24 hours last week, before Bills coach Sean McDermott shifted into full-blown nothing-to-see-here mode.
Of course there is plenty of see. We saw it play out on Tuesday. A truce somehow was negotiated between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, a surely tentative middle ground that McDermott dared not disrupt by inadvertently blurting out the truth.
For most of last week, there were no reports regarding the source of Diggs’s obvious displeasure. On Sunday, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe filled the void with this nugget regarding the situation: “Diggs’s frustration is with his role in the offense and his voice in play-calling, per a league source close to the Bills’ locker room.”
The situation had been hiding in plain sight since the 17-point playoff loss to the Bengals. He gesticulated in frustration on the field late in the game. He stood before quarterback Josh Allen with arms spread and profanities likely flying. Diggs left the post-game locker room before meeting with reporters.
He skipped all of the voluntary portion of the offseason program, a fact that didn’t trouble Bills fans as much as it should have. Last week, the boiling point was quickly reached after Diggs showed up for mandatory minicamp, attended meetings with McDermott and G.M. Brandon Beane on Monday and Tuesday — and then left before the first mandatory minicamp practice started on Tuesday.
It’s still not clear whether Diggs stormed out or whether he was asked/told to leave. Diggs complained on social media about someone lying; it’s possible he left only after someone suggested that he do so.
Whatever the explanation for the mechanism of the departure, something went haywire to cause him to go. A disagreement. An argument. A confrontation. Raised voices. Something.
Volin’s report brings it back to the offense, which makes sense. Diggs got a new contract last year; it’s unlikely that his concerns are financial.
During Super Bowl week, Diggs explained in an appearance with Dan Patrick that the frustrations that became obvious during the playoff loss had been building for weeks.
The challenge now becomes fixing whatever it is that Diggs is upset about, while doing so in a way that does not disrupt the team’s broader objectives. Fortunately for the Bills, the expectations are lower than they were a year ago, when they were the preseason favorite to win the Super Bowl, a franchise carrying the crippling burden of sky-high hopes without even getting to the AFC Championship the prior year.
The Diggs dilemma increases the pressure. Although this basic reality of life in the NFL makes some folks within the organization a little antsy, it’s a basic fact that chronic failure to get the most out of one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL will eventually get ownership to consider whether others need to be responsible for getting the most out of said quarterback, before his career ends.
Chris Simms and I have discussed this point from time to time on PFT Live. Something is missing. It’s either talent or the utilization of it. So the blame for the failure to get closer to the top of the mountain goes to the front office or the coaching staff. If the Diggs situation isn’t solved and if the Bills don’t get to the divisional round (or perhaps to the AFC Championship), the only way to keep Diggs happy for 2024 could be to make major changes around Allen and his No. 1 receiver.
Report: Stefon Diggs is unhappy with his role in offense, voice in play-calling originally appeared on Pro Football Talk