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'Timing made sense' | Bills GM Brandon Beane details decision to trade WR Stefon Diggs


The Buffalo Bills finalized a trade Wednesday to send WR Stefon Diggs to the Texans in exchange for a 2025 second-round pick.

Bills GM Brandon Beane spoke to the media to break down the trade, why it can help Buffalo and where the team goes from here.

1— How the deal came together & why it makes sense for Buffalo

Beane shared that discussions with the Texans ramped up this week and that the value Houston was offering in return — a 2025 second-round pick — was a valuable piece moving forward for Buffalo.

"The last couple days the value seemed to make sense and the timing made sense for them and for us," Beane said. "And we worked on the deal and got it finalized today."

Throughout that process, Beane said he had several conversations "at the highest levels of our organization" on the pros and cons of a trade. When Buffalo and Houston finalized the terms of the agreement, Beane did so with the future of the Bills in mind.

"Anytime you make a move like this, as I said, very difficult, you're trying to win," he said. "And sometimes people may not see that. This is by no means the Bills giving up or trying to take a step back or anything like that. Everything we do, we're trying to win."

He added: "It was made in what we believe was the best interest of the Bills. We can go round and round — I don't think I could frame it any better."

During his press conference, Beane shared that earlier in the offseason he did give QB Josh Allen a heads up that teams were inquiring about Diggs' availability.

"I did alert (Josh) that there had been some inquiries and it wasn't 100% off the table," Beane said.

The pair hadn't spoken yet since the trade was finalized but Beane said they will touch base together soon.

"Josh and I have a pretty regular conversation on things and I think it's important for me to make sure if I think something could happen to make sure he's not blindsided," he said.

Beane also broke down what the trade means for Buffalo's salary cap going forward.

"We were roughly, before this move, seven and a half million or something like that on the cap. This is going to take off three (point) three (million), there'll be a little offset which will get maybe closer to four by the time you add a player back on whenever that is. So it pulls us down into the threes of cap space. And so, we don't have a lot of room… we'll still have to save money for the draft picks, replacement costs, practice squad, guys like that. But, we'll be creative. We're still going to look. The cap flexibility is more next year which can help you even the following year depending on what you do, or you don't do in 2025," Beane said.

Buffalo's GM also added the team will save money down the road from Tre'Davious White's June 1 release.

2 - What Diggs gave to Buffalo

Before getting into the trade details, Beane thanked Diggs for the huge role he played in Buffalo's success from 2020-23.

"I want to thank Stef for four really good seasons," Beane said. "When we traded for him in the Covid year and really appreciate everything he brought to the team. (He) was a big part of us winning four divisions. These moves are never easy. Very hard. Not made overnight or anything like that."

Diggs' production is one reason why the move wasn't easy. While in Buffalo, Diggs put together four-straight 1,000-yard seasons. The WR led the NFL in receptions and receiving yards during his first season in blue and red. He also made the Pro Bowl in all four seasons and was named a first-team All-Pro in 2020.

Beane believes Josh Allen and Diggs made each other better athletes.

"They've been a really good duo," Beane shared. "I don't think Stef made All-Pro before he got here, and he made multiple and some Pro Bowls in there too. And, Josh ramped up as well. So I do think when they were clicking, the games they were clicking or the seasons they were really clicking. You could say they were probably up there with most any quarterback-receiver."

Buffalo's GM shared he spoke with the veteran receiver on Wednesday morning.

"We spoke this morning, Stef and I did, great conversation, as if he had just walked out of here yesterday or day before," Beane said.

Diggs played in 66 games and registered 445 receptions, 5,372 receiving yards and 37 touchdowns during his four seasons with the Bills.

3 — How Buffalo roster constructs going forward

The Bills hold the No. 28 overall pick in this year's draft along with nine other draft picks. They also have their own first-round pick next year, their own second-round pick and Minnesota's second-round pick. That's valuable draft capital the team has at their disposal.

Beane didn't tip his hand on how he will use those draft picks but acknowledged the team will look at both free agency and the draft to fill the WR room.

"There's still veterans out there. We'll still look and see if there's someone that would fit," he said. "And then we'll do the same, we'll grade our draft board, put it up there, put them in the order we see them if you're talking about just the receiver position."

While it may be tempting to take a WR no matter what in Round 1 because of the need, Beane said their strategy is still to take the best player available at No. 28.

"At 28, if all our first-round receivers are gone and the next guy is well into the second round, but we have other positions, we're going to take the other position. You still gotta take good football players," Beane shared. "And even if we don't get the player that everyone is looking for in April, it doesn't mean there's not other ways to do it. We have to remember the roster building is always continuing."

Beane continued to say that he understands the perception of trading the teams No. 1 receiver makes the Bills' roster look thin in the moment, but he expects the rest of the offseason to be dedicated to putting together a playoff caliber team.

"I mean, are we better today? Probably not. It's a work in progress, and we're going to continue to work on that. I would just hope that people know I'm competitive as hell, and I ain't giving in," Beane shared. "And I'm confident in the guys we have on the roster and I'm confident in the staff we have upstairs that helps me and that will continue to find pieces to add and that will be ready to roll when it comes time in September."

Buffalo did add some depth to their wide receiver room during free agency with the additions of Curtis Samuel and Mack Hollins.

Samuel is entering his eighth season and has played in 91 games. The WR had a career-year when current Bills offensive coordinator Joe Brady was his OC in 2020 with the Panthers. Samuel racked up 77 catches, 851 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

Hollins will be a seven-year veteran in 2024 and has 95 games under his belt. His best year came in 2022 with the Raiders when he had 57 catches, 690 receiving yards and four touchdowns.

"It was very important for us to add a couple guys," Beane said. "Mack Hollins is a veteran guy. I know he hasn't been a one. But he has played meaningful snaps and had some good seasons, especially when he was with the Raiders and Derek Carr, one of the better quarterbacks he's played with.

"Curtis Samuel, we've talked about him before. So we did try to add some pieces that would, if we didn't trade Stef, would still mesh with him – different skillsets. But also with the flexibility of if we did do the move at this time, we would have to hold enough space to do that."

In terms of taking who's over the No. 1 spot at wide receiver, Beane said for now it'll be viewed as a shared role.

"I think we do have a lot of confidence in our offense, in the other players, whether it's receivers, the two tight ends, the backs," Beane shared. "And listen, we don't play games until September. I would hope you know by now I'm going to turn over every stone and our staff is to continue to look to add depth and competition to all those rooms. So, that when it's time to play, we have a team we're proud of and that's going to give us a chance to win."

Whether they'll fill the remaining holes in the draft or with veterans, the goal remains the same.

"It's April the 3rd and we play in September, so let's be patient and let us work through this," Beane said. "Was it easy? No. But if you make the best decision for the Bills going forward, that's all you can do. You can trust that. So, this organization and our fanbase needs to trust that we are going to trot out a damn good team come September. And that's our plan and that's not changing."

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