Bills trade Stefon Diggs to Texans: Grading Houston's blockbuster deal for Buffalo's disgruntled Pro Bowl WR


The Stefon Diggs era in Buffalo has come to an end. The Bills finalized a blockbuster trade to send the four-time Pro Bowl receiver to the Houston Texans, the team announced on Wednesday. In exchange for Diggs, the Bills will receive a 2025 second-round pick (via Minnesota) while they will also send a 2024 sixth-rounder and a 2025 fifth-round pick to Houston along with Diggs. 

This trade marks the end of what had grown into a somewhat toxic relationship between Diggs and the Bills organization. Last month, Diggs had a cryptic social media post where the wideout said he was “ready for watever.” That was just the latest in what appeared to be indicators that he wanted out from Buffalo, including being absent from the start of mandatory minicamp last year. At the Pro Bowl Games back in February, Diggs also cast some doubt on his future with the franchise. When asked if he was optimistic about his future with the Bills, he said, “I can’t tell you what the future holds, but I’m still being me.” 

On the field, Diggs also seemed to get out of rhythm with quarterback Josh Allen as the 2023 season went along. After recording 100-yard receiving games in five of his first six games, Diggs averaged 51.2 receiving yards per game the rest of the way. He finished the year with 107 catches for 1,183 yards and eight touchdowns. 

The 30-year-old arrived in Buffalo in 2020 after the Bills pulled off a trade with Minnesota. Diggs was drafted by the Vikings in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Maryland and had established himself as one of the top young receivers upon landing in the pros. That said, Diggs joining the Bills sent his production to a higher level when paired with Allen, leading the league in receptions and receiving yards in his first season in Buffalo. 

While that may have deteriorated as of late, Diggs is one of the top receivers in the NFL when firing on all cylinders and now pairs himself with arguably the brightest young quarterback in the league in C.J. Stroud, who is coming off an Offensive Rookie of the Year season in 2024.  

Diggs joins a Houston team that is on the rise after drafting Stroud No. 2 overall and year ago and immediately winning the AFC South under first-year head coach DeMeco Ryans. The arrival of Diggs also creates one of the best receiver rooms that the NFL has to offer. On top of him, the club sports talented pass catchers like Nico Collins, Tank Dell, Noah Brown, and Robert Woods. That’s also not accounting for tight end Dalton Schultz and running back Joe Mixon, who was acquired in a trade with the Bengals earlier this offseason.

While Houston’s offense jumps to a new stratosphere with Diggs coming aboard, it will be interesting to see how Buffalo reshapes its wide receiver room. Along with this departure of Diggs, the Bills also saw Gabe Davis leave for the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency. At the moment, their wide receiver depth chart is headlined by Curtis Samuel, Khalil Shakir, Justin Shorter, and Mack Hollins. 

With Diggs now off to Houston, let’s grade the trade: 

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Texans: A 

Houston is doing exactly what it should be doing after hitting the jackpot with Stroud last year. With a bona fide star quarterback on his rookie contract, the time is now to load up with as much talent as possible to make a push for a championship, and this move for Diggs is a step in that direction. Yes, his cap hits are big over the next four seasons, but it’s effectively a wash with Stroud’s deal being such a bargain over that stretch. The trio of Diggs, Collins, and Dell is arguably the best three-headed monster at receiver that the NFL has to offer, which should help Stroud avoid a sophomore slump. 

Bills: C-

The writing was on the wall for this ultimately being the outcome between the Bills and Diggs over the last year or so. Despite that, Buffalo didn’t exactly brace for impact with the potential of cutting bait with its top receiver. Sure, the Bills used their first-round pick last year on tight end Dalton Kincaid, but the cupboard is almost completely bare at wide receiver, especially after letting Gabe Davis walk earlier in the free agency. Now, the Bills will need to either be aggressive and move up for a top-flight receiver prospect in the NFL Draft or hope one falls in their lap and neither is exactly an enviable position. In terms of the compensation, a second-round pick isn’t a horrendous haul considering Diggs’ contract. Financially, ESPN reports that this trade will not be processed as a post-June 1 designation. That means the Bills will incur just over a $31 million dead cap hit this year, which is the highest known dead money charge for a receiver in any season all-time. 





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