It sure feels like the New England Patriots’ biggest obstacle to acquiring a wide receiver will be the salary cap, but that hasn’t stopped the football world from finding ways to make it happen.
When it comes to Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs, there are even more hurdles standing in the way, as Minnesota reportedly has no intention of trading Diggs, who supposedly is unhappy with his situation.
Diggs had another quiet game Sunday (three catches, 44 yards), and despite the Vikings’ convincing win over the New York Giants — that moves them to 3-2 — speculation persists.
The Patriots reportedly are among the NFL’s most active teams ahead of the trade deadline, and following the Antonio Brown disaster, Diggs sure would look good in the New England offense. NBC Sports’ Peter King in his weekly “Football Morning in America” column floated a hypothetical trade package for the Patriots to land Diggs.
“I think Stefon Diggs to the Patriots at the trading deadline makes sense, especially if the season goes south for Minnesota. Say, for second and fourth-round picks in 2020,” King wrote.
“A first-rounder strikes me as too rich for Diggs, but a low second isn?t enough. New England never worries about the consequences of trading picks, and won?t if in three weeks they?re getting zero tight end production and still are needy at wideout.”
As King points out, the Patriots often are willing to part with draft capital if it’s going to make them better now and in the long term. King also notes Diggs’ contract situation makes him an attractive piece.
“(Diggs) has a contract reasonable for a good to very good wideout, and has zero guaranteed money in the last year of it,” King adds. “So the Patriots could cut him before his age-30 season in 2023 without financial consequences. Would you want Diggs, now 25, for the next 3.5 years at $37.2 million? I sure would, if what I had to give up was, say, the 60th and 125th picks to get him.”
In a perfect world, that might make plenty of sense for the Patriots. Sure would make them a lot better. The hurdle, however, is making it work financially. As Boston Sports Journal pointed out last week, the Patriots (or perhaps the Vikings) would have to get creative with the cap situation by extending veterans and lowering their numbers. But you can only kick the can so far down the road, and as NESN.com noted week, there are more cap-related issues on the horizon, even as it pertains to quarterback Tom Brady.
So, keep that in mind when kicking around hypotheticals like this one, as good as they might sound.