Examining What it Would Cost Broncos to Acquire WR Stefon Diggs via Trade from Vikings

BobMorris

With buzz that disgruntled wide receiver Stefon Diggs no longer wants to be with the Vikings, some Denver Broncos fans have suggested trading for Diggs.

There's no doubt that Diggs is a talented player. He is just 26 years old, won't turn 27 until November, and is thus in the prime of his career.

Diggs is a fast receiver, but I wouldn't call him a true 'burner', so he won't necessarily fill that role for a team. But he is a good route runner and would give the Broncos a good complementary receiver alongside Courtland Sutton.

But...

Would it be wise for the Broncos to trade for him?

Diggs would count for $11.5 million against the cap if the Broncos acquired him via trade. The Vikings would have to eat a $9M dead money charge if such a trade happened before June 1 — and that figure would apply regardless of whether the CBA is extended before the start of the NFL league year. (Dead money from trades takes effect immediately and can't be designated post-June 1 if completed before June 1.)

For an idea about recent player trades, we can look at what the Pittsburgh Steelers got in exchange for Antonio Brown and what the Broncos got for Emmanuel Sanders last fall. In each case, a third-round pick was involved. 

The Steelers also got a fifth-round pick from the Oakland Raiders, while the Broncos got a fourth-rounder and sent a fifth-rounder back to the San Francisco 49ers.

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So it would be clear that a third-round pick would at least have to be part of the trade. The Broncos have three third-round picks, so they could afford to send one to the Vikings.

With that said, would a trade be possible? That's harder to say. There's no indication that the Vikings want to trade Diggs. 

The player is reportedly unhappy with his situation in Minnesota but it at least doesn't appear to be hitting the level that Brown's did with the Steelers (and if that were the case, the Broncos likely wouldn't be interested). Because it's not, that doesn't mean the Vikings would be in a hurry to trade him.

On the other hand, the Vikings are projected to be more than $11M over the salary cap. Trading Diggs would free some space, so the incentive to gain cap space could be enough to drive the Vikings' asking price down.

But the Broncos also need to consider that Diggs has four years left on his contract. His 2020 and 2021 salaries are injury-only guaranteed. In 2022, his guarantees run out and that's also the time when Sutton's deal expires. 

Diggs would have a base salary of $11.4M in 2022, but the Broncos might have to be prepared to trade or cut him, especially with other players who will be nearing the time for an extension.

The other thing the Broncos must consider is whether Diggs is seeking more money. If he wants a renegotiated contract, Denver would be remiss in giving him one. 

And though Elway relented with Chris Harris, Jr. last season, that was a player who had been with the Broncos for some time and one in which the GM didn't do the best job of handling questions about an extension. In Diggs' case, I doubt Elway would be that quick to give him a raise.

With all that said, if the Vikings don't push for more than a third-round pick — though a swap of day-three picks could be considered — and Diggs doesn't push for a renegotiated contract, I would seriously consider a trade. Diggs would give you a talented player still in his prime who could provide immediate help to Drew Lock.

Diggs wouldn't be the answer to the Broncos need for a 'burner' at wide receiver, but he would bring enough of a speed element to help.

That leaves the only question; how much do the Vikings really want to trade Diggs? 

If Minnesota is open to offers, the Broncos should explore the possibility. But if the Vikings publicly say "We don't want to trade Diggs," that's a sign they are asking for too much, and that the Broncos need to explore other options.

We'll see how it unfolds. Do you want to see Diggs in Denver? Sound off in the comment section below. 

Follow Bob on Twitter @BobMorrisSports and @MileHighHuddle. 

Comments (42)
No. 1-21
smilinassassin
smilinassassin

Crap. If I knew you were writing this I wouldn’t have posted the question in a thread. Regardless, after reading your other articles about the do’s and don’ts when building around your young QB, and a previous article talking about rebuilding through the draft over free agents, I was actually wanting to know what your specific opinion on this was Bob. Glad you wrote it up!

broncofan55555
broncofan55555

Diggs for a third rounder and maybe a later pick as well, heck yes. If he wants to renegotiate his contract or balks at coming to Denver, heck no.

Gmancan03
Gmancan03

There's some stud wideouts in the draft. Save that money for fa corner or Shelby harris

broncofan55555
broncofan55555

Diggs plus Sutton running routes plus picking up a burner in the draft would send chills into opposing DCs.

BleedingBroncoOrange
BleedingBroncoOrange

Heck yeah, sign Diggs and offer the Vikes Juwan Winfrey and Tim Patrick as well. Sign Prince Amukamara, a LB and Chris Jones if possible, then go get

  1. Jealan Reagor at #15
  2. Cylde Edwards Helair in 2 nd
  3. Denzel Mims and an OT in 3rd
    4 -7) IDL, CB, LB, O LIN, P, K

Promote Kalif Muhammad and Kelvin Mcnight from the practice squad.

Sinceiwasalilboy
Sinceiwasalilboy

Woooo, slow down everybody. We have a perfectly capable and UBER talented Dez Bryant still wanting a squad card. Couple this with Antonio Brown and a also a talented receiver in the 7th round, problem solved !!!!

Brainco
Brainco

Another huge ego head case at WR? No thanks.

BeGoodBroncos
BeGoodBroncos

so he's unhappy in Minnesota and he can come to Colorado and be unhappy here ? Not seeing it myself but I guess the Kubiak connection would make some people think about it.

Wonder if Vikes want to swap Cousins for Drew too ? LOL :)

JK :) Thanks for the write up

Kebby77
Kebby77

For a 3rd and no restructured contract? Heck yeah do that. Give up a 3rd for another #1 across from sutton for $11 mill a year in his prime is pretty good. Hes basically a younger, better Emmanuel Sanders. Anything more than that unless it's like a 6th-7th rounder thrown in is too much IMO.

RickyBobby_0815
RickyBobby_0815

There's no questioning Diggs's talent and he would be an instant fit knowing Shurmur's offense but I would still pass. One of the exciting things about this team is how young everyone is especially on the offense side of the ball. I think it's best for them to grow together and see one of them step up as a leader of the pack. You are already seeing Sutton take that role and one would think Lock will as well since he's expected to the starter from Day 1.
My fear is if you bring a veteran it could lead to the young guys not wanting to listen to him. Not sure if that was the case that lead to a scuffle between Sanders and Sutton but I'm fine seeing this young nucleus grow together.

bobnodler
bobnodler

So your theory is trade a 3rd round pick to the Vikings for an All Pro Receiver with back to back 1000 yard seasons under his belt. These articles are just nonsense. why would they trade for a third round pick. He is one of the better receivers in the league and a third round pick would be the trade piece the Vikings would want. I get a kick out of how these crap teams think they can just get other teams best players with nothing in return. Why don't the bronco's draft someone like Diggs in the fourth round like the Vikings did and develop him? You aren't getting him for a third round pick. Two first round picks maybe. No third round pick needed.

Finfineman
Finfineman

less than a 1% chance. The Vikings wouldnt do this for even a third round. Maybe a first. Maybe.

Steve Atwater 27
Steve Atwater 27

Diggs is not worth that, to Denver. Lacks consistency, and I don't believe he is a bonafide 1, more like a pretty good 1a; I don't see paying THAT much for a 1A with our other needs, especially after trading Cranky pants Sanders. Additionally, if Diggs leaves Minny, Kirk is toast. So they need him more than we do.

Letswin17
Letswin17

Draft, draft, draft.

ShutdownCommenter
ShutdownCommenter

He is gonna cost A LOT more than a 3rd. My guess is around 2 2's. And I'd pull that trigger in a heartbeat

Wyobronco
Wyobronco

Since this is such a deep draft at wr, we should get one or two there instead of spend big on a free agent like Diggs. By getting them in the draft, we could get a great player or two for very little money invested.Plus if they end up being great we can lock them up later with a long term deal and get great production for many years.

BroncoOrange
BroncoOrange

I just don't like hearing the word "disgruntled". Courtland is Da Man and I would not like Diggs complaining that Sutton would be getting the majority of passes.

bobnodler
bobnodler

So you think Antonio Brown is a similar case to this one. Antonio Brown was on his way out of football. And disgruntled was not what he was, Mentally Ill would be more like it. Diggs has no pending criminal investigations and other then wanting the ball all the time he is just like all the other top wideouts. So I am not sure why you can't understand my comments other then you are brain dead watching your team which is going no where. You need a Quarterback to throw him the ball. Get back with the Vikings in about 10 years when you are relevant again.

bobnodler
bobnodler

You are not getting Diggs other then your very high first round draft pick you have nothing to offer. And your number one pick is not worth as much as this guy is to the Vikings. Now Laquann Treadwell is available for that third round pick you are dangling out there. Hell I bet they would throw in Cornerback Xavier Rhodes for that also. Treadwell a former number one pick , big slow and can't catch. He should be the Bronco's best receiver.

broncofan55555
broncofan55555

I can understand Bob that you want the Vikes to retain their top players or get a lot of draft capital if they depart, but the Vikes are facing cap problems. Here is a good link on that subject:

Maybe the Vikes will restructure their present contracts as the article suggests, but then again if Diggs is not happy in MN, is he going to want to restructure? He may want out. A lot of teams don't have dual luxury of the cap space to pay Diggs what his contract demands AND the number of draft picks the Broncos have. The Vikes may want a lot of Diggs, but wanting and getting are two different things. They have to find a team that has cap space and trade capital. Your contempt for the Broncos is obvious, but I think is quite uninformed because you are overlooking a lot of other factors that will play a role in this matter.


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