Bills brass explains how ‘albatross’ contract led to decision to move on from Stefon Diggs

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The Buffalo Bills front office faced multiple tough decisions this offseason. Early last month, the team’s key decision-makers coordinated a high-profile trade that involved star wide receiver Stefon Diggs.

The four-time Pro Bowler agreed to a four-year, $96 million contract extension with the Bills in 2022. But Bills general manager Brandon Beane suggested that moving forward with Diggs’ contract on the books would effectively place a financial “albatross” around the team for the next couple of years.

The team had to take on around $31 million in dead money against its salary cap for the 2024 season, but that was something Beane said the organization was willing to suffer through in the short term.

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Stefon Diggs reacts to a play from the sidelines

Stefon Diggs of the Buffalo Bills (Timothy T. Ludwig/Getty Images/File)

“I mean, listen, there’s a lot of things I think you weigh,” Beane said. “A player of his caliber, you weigh a lot of things. But ultimately, we just talked about the [salary] cap. … I don’t need to go through all the reasons why we decided to go ahead and do that. I would say, from a cap standpoint, we decided just to go ahead and eat it out now. We think we can compete and do what we need to do by eating it now. Because if we didn’t, if we tried to come up with some way to split it up too many different ways, it’s just like that albatross hanging on your neck all year. … What’s ’25 look like? What’s ’26?”

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The Bills traded Diggs to the Houston Texans in April in exchange for future draft picks.

Brandon Beane speaks to the media

Brandon Beane, general manager of the Buffalo Bills (Stacy Revere/Getty Images/File)

Aside from the financial implications, Diggs recently appeared to be unhappy in Buffalo.

Even without Diggs on the roster, Beane is confident the Bills will be contenders.

“I’m super competitive,” Beane continued. “I’m going to be ripping myself the minute we have to walk into a year and I feel like we got to play with one arm tied behind our back because the cap is what it is. … We got Josh Allen, and we want to compete every single year for a championship.”

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Wide receiver Gabe Davis also left the Bills this offseason as the 25-year-old signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. But Beane and the front office landed veteran pass catchers Curtis Samuel and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

In April, Buffalo drafted former Florida State wide receiver Keon Coleman in the second round.

“I would say our receiver room right now is like Baskin-Robbins,” Beane joked. “We got a lot of flavors.”

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