Stefon Diggs proved he was one of the best receivers in the NFL last season. In his first year with the Buffalo Bills, he led the league in receptions (127) and receiving yards (1,535) as the Bills made it all the way to the AFC Championship game. With him out wide catching passes, third-year quarterback Josh Allen put together the career year fans had been waiting for, leading to a record-breaking extension this offseason.
Diggs was voted a team captain for the first time in his life this week, as he has quickly evolved into a leader for this budding Bills squad. This is notable since his reputation was once considered less than perfect. During his final seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, Diggs had fits of anger on the field and missed practices and meetings for non-injury related issues. It seemed like a split was coming, and it finally happened in March of 2020.
With a full year having come and gone since his exit from Minnesota, Diggs recently reflected on the person he was with the Vikings. The former fifth-round pick out of Maryland said he was a good teammate but evolved into a bad one as soon as he made up his mind that he wanted out. Diggs also said he was thankful for his fresh start.
“Coming from my old team — I hate talking about old stuff — but up to me wanting to leave and wanting to go to another place, I was a great teammate,” Diggs told reporters Tuesday. “It wasn’t until I wanted to do something else is when I became a bad teammate. So as far as when things aren’t going good, you know, it’s all good until it’s not good. So for me, even then, I always tried to play with a chip on my shoulder and lead my team the best way I know how. Coming here I had a fresh start. It was fair for people to make their assumptions or their assessments from the outside looking in. That’s fair. I just look at it as in, when I get there I’ll show them who I am and we’ll go from there. As far as my new chapter with my new team, things are going pretty good and trying to keep it that way.”
Diggs understands that he didn’t handle his exit from Minnesota with grace, but it sounds like he made it a point to be the best leader he could be in Buffalo. The Bills rewarded Diggs for those efforts with a “C” on his jersey heading into 2021.