Why Bills General Manager is confident in ‘work in progress’ roster following Stefon Diggs trade

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) reacts before an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, in Orchard Park, NY. (AP

Orchard Park, N.Y. — Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane met with reporters five hours after he traded Stefon Diggs on Wednesday, but he didn’t want to get into why he did it.

The Bills traded Diggs and two day-three picks to the Houston Texans for a second-round pick in next year’s draft. Buffalo, without Diggs on its roster this season, is eating a $31 million dead cap hit.

Beane said that sometimes it’s hard to see why teams move on from players but assured fans that the Bills aren’t giving up on 2024. He did admit that the Bills are probably not better after trading Diggs but there’s still a lot of runway left before the season starts in September.

It’s a work in progress, and we’re going to continue to work on that,” he said. “I would just hope that people know I’m as competitive as hell, and I’m not – I ain’t giving in, and we’re going to work through this, and we’re going to continue to look. And I’m confident in A) the guys we have on the roster, and I’m confident in the staff that helps me. We will continue to find pieces to add and be ready to roll when it comes time.”

Beane didn’t want to reveal if Diggs requested the trade but said that conversations with his agent, Adisa Bakari, have been positive throughout the process. Beane spoke with Diggs on Wednesday morning before the deal was finalized and said it was a great conversation.

The dead cap in 2024 is a take-your-medicine-now kind of move. Beane said that trading Diggs now opens up roughly $27 million in cap space after the upcoming season.

Beane said he considered all factors when deciding to trade Diggs, including getting different people’s viewpoints within the organization.

“Is it easy? Heck no,” he said. “It’s hard. Sometimes in this seat, you’ve got to make difficult decisions. … Certain things need to be kept in house, as far as how a decision was made or what all factors specifically. I think you just have to trust that this decision was made in the best interest of the Bills going forward.”

The noise around Diggs’ perceived discontent in Buffalo has been exacerbated by the receiver’s comments in interviews and cryptic tweets. His brother, Dallas cornerback Trevon Diggs, has tweeted numerous times about Diggs’ situation in Buffalo. Diggs maintained that he loved playing in Buffalo on many different occasions over the past two seasons. But whenever the topic was brought up in the offseason, he almost went out of his way not to quiet the noise.

The trade itself has received some criticism because the pick that the Bills got back from the Texans is the Vikings’ pick in next year’s draft. For comparison’s sake, Keenan Allen was traded to the Chicago Bears for a fourth-round pick, and Amari Cooper was traded to the Cleveland Browns for a fifth-round pick. Minnesota’s second-round pick next year could be high after they lost quarterback Kirk Cousins and are expected to take a step back.

Beane said the deal with Houston was the most value he could find.

“I would love to have gotten a great pick this year,” he said. “That was the best move for us, that was the most value. And it was a value that we thought made sense for us. When you get this close to the draft, we’re talking a few weeks away, people have done a lot of work, and it becomes harder and harder to move on from (a pick) this year.”

Bills quarterback Josh Allen was made aware of the possibility of the trade before the deal happened on Wednesday.

“Without going into the discussion with Josh, when the last time we spoke was, I did alert him that there had been some inquiries and it wasn’t 100% off the table,” Beane said.

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