NFL Football

WR Stefon Diggs embracing fresh start with Buffalo

(AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King, File)

By MARK LUDWICZAK

Associated Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Stefon Diggs has a new beginning with the Buffalo Bills.

And he isn't dwelling on his departure from the Minnesota Vikings.

Speaking with Buffalo reporters for the first time since his blockbuster trade in March, Diggs repeatedly expressed excitement over his new surroundings while also downplaying his role in leaving Minnesota.

"As far as my past with Minnesota, I never actually said anything," Diggs said. "But, granted, this new situation, I can say I'm excited. There's no right or wrong or problems to be fixed or something to replace with my old situation. I have a lot of respect for the Minnesota Vikings."

Last season with the Vikings, Diggs was fined more than $200,000 for unexcused absences from practices in October. He was also known for cryptic tweets that may or may not have offered insight into his situation with the team. Prior to being traded to Buffalo, Diggs tweeted "it's time for a new beginning" - and hours later he was a member of the Bills for four draft picks.

In Buffalo, he's expected to be the unquestioned No. 1 receiver on a team hoping to win the AFC East following Tom Brady's exit from the division.

"I never really was too vocal about it. `It's time for a new beginning' was enough said," Diggs said. "I'm super excited with my new situation. I feel like this is also a great organization built on a lot of hard-working guys, a lot of guys that really grind to get to where they're at.

"I trust the people that are in place. I'm just happy to be a part of it at this point. I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel or anything like that, I'm just trying to be as helpful as I can, be a puzzle piece, try to mesh as well as I can to help this team win."

Diggs has been a game-breaker throughout his career and the Bills are hoping he's the finishing piece who can put them over the top. Diggs finished last season with a career-high 1,130 yards receiving and he was fourth in the league with an average of 17.9 yards per reception. He's considered one of the best route runners in the NFL and is set to form a solid receiving trio alongside John Brown and Cole Beasley.

Priority No. 1 for Diggs with his new team is to work on establishing chemistry with quarterback Josh Allen. The two met up for unofficial workouts in Florida earlier this summer, but have plenty of work to make up with the lack of a traditional offseason.

"I'm super excited," Diggs said. "He's going into Year 3. As a quarterback, as a guy, big arm, big quarterback, a lot of heart, he runs around, he's mobile, can extend the play. He does a lot of things extremely well. More so focused on how I can help him, anything I can do to help him. Always be in his ear, having communication with him, if he needs something from me ... I'm just there to be his supporting cast on whatever he needs and play receiver."

So far, so good according to teammate and standout cornerback Tre'Davious White.

"Obviously he's a Grade A talent," White said. "To have a transcendent talent like that to add with the other guys that we have ... on paper, it looks great. Those guys are going to have to continue to work each and every day. Just on paper, we look sexy (on offense), we look good."

After expressing some concerns one month ago about playing football this year - and hours after White said that he was unsure about his own plans for this season - Diggs said that he will be playing amid coronavirus concerns.

"Seeing that the deadline is tomorrow, I'm pretty much bought in on playing football," Diggs said. "I've been here buying into the process as far as getting to know my teammates, getting to know my coaches, kind of starting to get the ball rolling. I put in a lot of time in the offseason training and (working on) my craft ... I made some arrangements where I'm going to be playing football this year."

NOTES: The Bills activated CB Ike Brown and S Siran Neal off the reserve/COVID-19 list. To make room on the roster, Buffalo released RB Antonio Williams and DE Jonathan Woodard.

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Updated August 5, 2020

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