MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer appeared on Rich Eisen’s national radio show Friday morning to say he wasn’t as annoyed by wide receiver Stefon Diggs as most probably think he was.
The Vikings traded Diggs to the Buffalo Bills for four draft picks, including this year’s No. 22 overall pick, which they used to draft LSU star Justin Jefferson. Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said at the NFL Combine, “We have no intention of trading Stefon Diggs.”
That changed for Spielman when NFL free agency started, and the Bills came calling with an offer he couldn’t refuse.
It all came months after a tumultuous week at TCO Performance Center after the Vikings lost at the Bears in Week 4. Diggs was no-show at the first practice to prepare for their Week 5 game, and was listed on the team’s injury report that day with a non-football absence. He was back for that Thursday’s practice, claiming he missed the day before because he was sick, which was not noted on the team's injury report. When asked about rumors that he wanted to be traded, he said, “I believe there’s some truth to all rumors.”
Diggs was later reportedly fined up to $200,000 by the team.
Diggs had 63 catches on 94 yards for 1,130 yards and six touchdowns last season. He averaged a career-high 17.9 yards per catch in 2019. Zimmer said despite apparent drama around Diggs, he never had an issue with the receiver.
“If you said somebody was a pain in the butt, you probably wouldn’t say him,” Zimmer said. “I’ve been around way worse guys than him, and I hope he has a great career and finishes up strong.”
Diggs is most widely known for the “Minneapolis Miracle,” a walk-off touchdown against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional Playoffs.