Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman that he might trade wide receiver Stefon Diggs during the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine, but two months later, with Diggs shipped off to the Buffalo Bills, the GM has begun explaining his reversal of course. As the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported, Spielman said Tuesday that the Diggs trade was strictly a "good business decision," not only for the Vikings but for the star pass catcher himself.
"We had no intention of trading Diggs at the combine," Spielman said during a video conference with media. "He was a great player for us, he was great in the community. But then there was an opportunity, (a) business opportunity that came up, that as this evolved we felt was both good for Stefon and was good for us, and we decided to go ahead and make the trade. But we'll always appreciate what Stefon has done for us in Minnesota."
Pressed to confirm that Diggs' trade stemmed in part from the wide receiver's apparently polarizing relationship with the Vikings, Spielman declared Buffalo's trade offer -- a quartet of draft picks, including this year's first-rounder -- the biggest reason Minnesota signed off on the deal.
"I'm going to leave all those internal discussions in-house," he said. "It just came to a point, I think, where the draft capital we were able to get for him was a good business decision for us, and it was also a good business decision for him."
Spielman's remarks echoed those of quarterback Kirk Cousins, who said recently the trade was a " ." Cousins, of course, didn't dance around the idea Diggs also wanted to play elsewhere, saying "it wasn't a mystery" Diggs desired to move on after five seasons with the Vikings.
Interestingly enough, Spielman also on Tuesday didn't necessarily rule out a move involving another high-profile player. Asked whether he expects breakout safety Anthony Harris, who had six interceptions in 2019 and received the team's franchise tag this offseason, to return in 2020 either on the tag or under a long-term contract, the GM was noncommittal.
"I'm not going to get into the business side of it," he said. "I know right now he is franchised."