Josh Allen attributes his success as a quarterback to the quality of receiver Stefon Diggs

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Josh Allen

Despite the seemingly impersonal nature of ending their on-field partnership with a simple exchange of text messages, Bills quarterback Josh Allen expressed his deep appreciation for receiver Stefon Diggs during their four seasons together in Buffalo.

Allen chose not to mention any negative aspects of Diggs’ personality or occasional sideline outbursts, focusing instead on praising his former teammate in his first opportunity to discuss Diggs’ trade to the Houston Texans earlier this month.

“I just thanked him for everything he did for me, and I’ll always hold a special place in my heart for him. I’ll always love that guy like a brother.

And I wish him nothing but the best,” Allen revealed about his text message to Diggs. “My enduring memory of Stef will be the receiver who helped me develop into the quarterback I am today.”

Brought together in March 2020, when Buffalo traded a first-round draft pick to acquire Diggs from Minnesota, the duo proceeded to rewrite many of Buffalo’s single-season passing and scoring records, leading the team to four consecutive AFC East titles.

Diggs, now 30 years old, also brought some drama with him, raising questions about his commitment to the Bills and whether his close bond with Allen had weakened.

A day before his trade, Diggs posted a message on X, a social media platform, saying, “You sure?” in response to someone suggesting he wasn’t crucial to Allen’s success.

Any lingering hard feelings as Buffalo began its voluntary workout sessions this week were not evident from Allen or coach Sean McDermott, who spoke to reporters for the first time since Diggs was traded.

Stefon Diggs (Credits: Bleacher Report)

“Stef’s a great player, and I really enjoyed our time together. We won a lot of games, and he was a big part of that. We’ll miss him,” McDermott said. “You can’t replace a player like Stef Diggs, and we wish him well.”

Allen shifted his focus to the future and a Bills team that spent much of the offseason making changes to an aging and expensive roster.

Apart from trading Diggs, salary cap constraints led to Buffalo parting ways with respected center Mitch Morse, breaking up a veteran secondary that had been together since 2017, and being unable to re-sign No. 2 receiver Gabe Davis.

“I don’t see it as a negative thing to bring in younger players,” said Allen, starting his seventh NFL season. “It’s a chance for me to grow as a leader and mentor the new guys we’ve added to the team. I’m really excited about this opportunity.”

Despite the changes, the Bills offense remains strong. General manager Brandon Beane is expected to focus on drafting a receiver with the team’s first pick, currently 28th.

Receiver Khalil Shakir is entering his third year, and tight end Dalton Kincaid is heading into his second after showing promise in previous seasons. Buffalo also added experienced players by signing free agent receiver Curtis Samuel and Mack Hollins.

Josh Allen

Beane acknowledged that while the Bills may lack a true No. 1 receiver, it’s not as urgent to fill that role now as it was in 2020 because of Allen’s development.

“Now that Josh has become the player he is, is it necessary to have a No. 1 receiver? I don’t think so,” Beane said.

Diggs’ role decreased in the second half of last season, coinciding with Joe Brady taking over as offensive coordinator. Brady focused on creating a more balanced offense and involving more receivers, leading to increased production from Shakir and Kincaid.

Even though Diggs’ stats went down, the Bills won more games. When the team was 6-6, Diggs ranked third in the NFL with 83 catches, seventh with 969 yards, and tied for third with eight touchdown receptions.

During the last five games of the season, which Buffalo won, Diggs had 24 catches for 214 yards but no touchdowns.

“(Diggs) was really important. If you look at the numbers, they show it,” Allen said, referring to Diggs having over 100 catches and 1,000 yards in each of his four seasons in Buffalo. “It’s not my job to make changes to the team. My job is to be the best quarterback I can and lead the guys on the team.”


By Ritik

Ritik Katiyar is pursuing a post-graduate degree in Pharmaceutics. Currently, he lives in Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India. You can find him writing about all sorts of listicle topics. A pharmaceutical postgrad by day, and a content writer by night. You can write to him at [email protected]

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