Buffalo Bills take page from Bill Belichick's book with Stefon Diggs trade

Dec 1, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) and New
Dec 1, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) and New / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills made a pretty shocking move with trading Stefon Diggs and two Day 3 picks to the Houston Texans for a 2025 second round pick. The former All-Pro wide receiver has been one of the most productive wide receivers during his time in Buffalo with over 100 receptions and 1,000 yards each season while being named to the Pro Bowl each season.

It was a surprising move for several reasons from the amount of dead cap the Bills have to take on to not having a clear replacement. On the surface, the compensation being a 2025 second round pick seems low, especially not getting any picks back for this year's NFL Draft. However, it appears that general manager Brandon Beane is taking a page out of the book of a former division rival head coach in Bill Belichick.

Buffalo Bills seemingly taking note of what made the New England Patriots so successful

As Bills fans know all too well, the New England Patriots had arguably the greatest dynasty in NFL history with numerous Super Bowl championships over nearly two decades. While this was due in large part to Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, they couldn't do it alone and it was the way Belichick managed the roster.

Over the years, the Patriots made some pretty surprising trades where they would move big-name players at a time when they still could contribute. It was clear that Belichick believed in trading players a year too early, rather than a year too late.

There is a long list of trades that Belichick made that fit into this category like Drew Bledsoe to the Bills, Richard Seymour to the Raiders, Mike Vrabel to the Chiefs, or Laurence Maroney to the Broncos. Many of these players were still productive with their new teams but didn't play at the same level. If the Patriots waited even one more season there probably would not have been much of a market or they would have gotten the return they did.

That could be the same situation here with Stefon Diggs and the Buffalo Bills. If Diggs was still on the roster, it is very likely that he would continue his streak of 1,000 receiving yard seasons but how much he has left past that is a legitimate question to ask.

By trading Diggs now, the Bills have maximized their return in a second round pick, which is good considering some other trades recently around older wide receivers. For example, the Bears only traded a fourth for Keenan Allen, who has had a similar stat line to Diggs.

The Bills might have had their hand forced by Stefon Diggs and a trade had to happen now. However, by taking all the dead cap hit this season, and adding what could be a Top 50 pick in 2025, they have set themselves up better long-term and are still in a position to win the AFC East this season.