Did the Bills overpay for Stefon Diggs?
To answer the initial question of whether or not the Buffalo Bills overpaid in their trade for Stefon Diggs it has to be no and they likely made a better deal than most. The best trade based on production, age and contract would be to compare the Buffalo Bills deal for Diggs to the New England Patriots deal for Brandin Cooks.
At the time of the trade, the per game averages are nearly identical for both wide receivers with them averaging around 5 receptions, 67 receiving yards and .5 touchdowns per game. Cooks was slightly younger at 23 years of age compared to Diggs who is 26 years old.
The difference between the two deals is that Cooks was entering the fourth year of his rookie deal. So with the fifth year option he would be under contract for two more years compared to Diggs being under contract for four more years.
This is incredibly valuable for any team willing to give up assets. They want to know the player they are trading for is going to be part of the organization for years to come. This isn’t always an option because teams don’t want to give up productive players on reasonable long term deals.
In terms of compensation, the Patriots traded their first overall pick, which was 32nd overall, and their third round pick. The Buffalo Bills meanwhile gave up a first round pick 10 spots higher at 22nd as well as a fifth and sixth this year and a fourth next year.
The reason this isn’t necessarily a bad move is because the Bills had multiple picks in the fifth and sixth round from trades last offseason of Wyatt Teller and Russell Bodine. The extra draft capital allows for them to make a move like this and allows them to pay a slightly higher premium to get a player who is in the prime of their career and under contract for the next few years.
After seeing the deal the Arizona Cardinals made for DeAndre Hopkins it is easy to question the Stefon Diggs trade. However, based on the deals made over the past three years, this deal is more in line with what NFL teams want for top wide receivers. This wasn’t a bad deal for the Bills and addresses a key need for the foreseeable future.