The big news from Buffalo Bills minicamp wasn't what happened during practice but what happened before. The team had their first day of mandatory minicamp and unfortunately were without one of their key players on offense with Stefon Diggs skipping it.
However, it doesn't seem to be the typical holdout as Josh Allen said it isn't so much football related. He seemed to indicate that there is a communication issue and that Diggs' frustration could lie more with the coaching staff and his usage in the offense.
Does Stefon Diggs have a legitimate case for his frustrations in the Buffalo Bills offense?
Stefon Diggs finished in the Top 5 among wide receivers last season in targets, receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. The volume was certainly there but when diving further into the stats, Diggs saw a steady decrease in opportunity as the season went along.
In the final four regular season games, he averaged only 6.5 targets with 4.3 receptions per game, 56.8 receiving yards per game, and one touchdown during that stretch. These stats are almost half what he was averaging the first 12 games of the season with 10.6 targets, 7.5 receptions, 100.2 receiving yards while finding the end zone a total of 10 times.
In the AFC Divisional Round against the Cincinnati Bengals, Diggs had three receptions, 27 yards on five targets. This may not seem like a lot but he was still involved in the offense and the Bills were within reach, only losing 17-7 at halftime.
However, in the second half Diggs would have only one reception for eight yards on five targets and the offense came to a screeching halt. It should not be surprising to see Stefon Diggs' frustration on the sidelines as the Buffalo Bills season ended once again in a disappointing fashion and he wasn't involved in that deciding game.
Another example was the game against the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving where Stefon Diggs finished the game with 8 receptions, 77 receiving yards and a touchdown on 15 targets. However, he had only two receptions for 15 yards on five targets in the first half and Sean McDermott had to talk with Diggs on the sideline.
After the game, Diggs gave credit to McDermott for his ability to keep him level-headed. This is not the behavior of a "diva" that is often associated with wide receivers who just want the ball.
Rather this seems to be a person who wants to win so badly. He knows, along with most of the other players on the team, that he is one of the best in the NFL at his position and when he is involved the offense is better.
It will be interesting to see what resolution the two sides can come to at this point of the offseason. If the issue is the offensive gameplan and Ken Dorsey's play-calling, how do they get Stefon Diggs to buy in this far out from the season?
Unfortunately, there may not be a clear resolution any time soon but one thing is clear and that is Stefon Diggs is crucial to the Buffalo Bills success. As Von Miller said on Tuesday, the Bills need Diggs to get to a Super Bowl and that is the ultimate goal.