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How Stefon Diggs found a second home in Buffalo

Stefon Diggs signs his contract extension at One Bills Drive on April 7, 2022.  Photo by Ben Green
Stefon Diggs signs his contract extension at One Bills Drive on April 7, 2022. Photo by Ben Green

When Stefon Diggs came to Buffalo ahead of the 2020 season, he knew he would play with a good quarterback and a team that could make some noise in the playoffs. What he wasn't sure of, and what he quickly learned, was that Buffalo would become the place he wants to retire.

On Thursday afternoon, Diggs put pen to paper on a four-year contract extension with the intent to rock blue and red until he calls it a career. The wide receiver's family joined in on the life-changing day and got to see why One Bills Drive has become his second home.

"I felt like my next spot was my last spot," Diggs said to the media after signing his extension. "I wanted it to be my home, and I didn't want to ever go anywhere. It was important to me especially in my first year and second year, you just kind of felt like you were building family."

The family atmosphere is what sold Diggs on Buffalo. It's a common thing to hear among Bills players, but when one of the best NFL players gets traded to Buffalo and decides he doesn't want to leave, that's when you know it's not lip service. 

"It's that family-oriented (environment) just from the top to the bottom," Diggs added. "Kim and Terry (Pegula), then the coaching staff, and how we're brought up, how we're developed, how our conversations are and the relationships that I've built in such a short span of time."

In a quick two years, the Bills also realized why Diggs is so important to their offensive success. 

In 2020, he led the NFL in receptions (127) and receiving yards (1,535). The WR has scored 20 total touchdowns (regular season and playoffs) as a Bill and is the first player in team history to record two-straight seasons of at least 1,000 receiving yards and 100 catches since Stevie Johnson (2010-2012).

These numbers show how Bills quarterback Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs have become the perfect pair. Diggs has made Allen a better quarterback and Allen has made Diggs a bigger threat at wide receiver. It's just another reason why Diggs can't imagine playing anywhere else. 

"You get those relationships like the one I have with Josh and the other guys on the team and it's just like alright damn, it starts feeling a lot like home," Diggs shared. "You don't wanna leave it. So to be somewhat engraved for a good period of time, (I) forever appreciate it."

Diggs said he plans to spend more time with his QB and wants to continue to grow their connection because he knows there's a lot more they can accomplish. 

"I want to prove that I'm one of the best receivers in the league," Diggs said. "I'm a part of one of the best teams in the league and I'm chasing. I'm back chasing again. I love to chase because you have something to work for or look forward to each and every day."

The two-time Pro Bowler is also looking forward to some of the new pieces on the team for the 2022 season like Von Miller. Diggs said he has a relationship with Miller and started to recruit him before he went to the Rams.

"I felt like he would be the right piece," Diggs said of Miller. "He fits right in. Him signing with us, I feel like he'll definitely help our team."

Another announcement this offseason that has Diggs excited is the thought of getting to play in a new stadium.

"It's a different type of football when you're outside and it's cold, some people don't really want to be out there," Diggs said of the change of scenery from playing inside in Minnesota to outside in Buffalo. "For me it kind of came full circle when I came here, I was back to old times, just in the grind and making things work. So, being a part of a new stadium, I'm excited. It's something I look forward to."

The 2020 first-team All Pro has plenty to be excited about after signing a long extension and being a part of a team with serious talent. In times of gratitude, Diggs said it's funny to look back and think about how many people thought Buffalo wouldn't work.

"I was just more thankful that they took a chance," Diggs said on the Bills trading a first-round pick for him. "They took a real chance, and it wasn't business when I got in here. It was like family, and I didn't feel no pressure. When you talk about pressure, I didn't feel any pressure to be anybody but myself.

"That's why I feel like I'm in such a great place because being yourself brings you comfort. It brings you happiness."

Buffalo has become a great destination for so many different players, and Diggs has played an important role in making that happen. The wide receiver has helped the Bills win playoff games in back-to-back years, has helped make Josh Allen a better quarterback and bought into the culture on day one, which earned him the title of team captain in 2021.

Now in 2022, the Bills have a roster full of talent, one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and new players who couldn't resist Buffalo's culture. Diggs thinks this mix can help the team reach their biggest goal.

"Everybody knows what I want," Diggs shared. "Everybody else wants the same thing and hopefully we can stack some wins to get there. I'm gonna be the same person, I'm consistent. I'm not gonna change who I am.

"I'm a man of integrity. I'm gonna continue to be a leader and I want to win."

The Maryland kid who was a fifth-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft found a home in Buffalo and is forever grateful that a trade led him to the team he wants to retire with. On the other hand, the Bills are eternally thankful they found a top-notch leader who's on-field skills are tough to match and who's presence drives the team to compete at a high-level.

The best part is this relationship is far from over and the two know there's still plenty of work to be done.

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