It all started—like many stories these days—with a tweet.
Minnesota Vikings star receiver Stefon Diggs sent this out just a day after Minnesota’s disappointing 16-6 loss to their in-division rival Chicago Bears:
— DIGGS (@stefondiggs) September 30, 2019
Overreacting to a single tweet is one of my least favorite phenomenons, but immediately people jumped to the conclusion that Diggs wanted out of Minnesota. It didn’t help when Diggs sent out a few more cryptic social media posts to Instagram.
His production—along with the entire Vikings offense—is way down from previous years, so Diggs’ discontent would make some sense. So when he didn’t show up to practice on Wednesday and the Vikings said it was not injury related, the trade request rumors ran rampant.
On Thursday, Diggs returned to practice and had the opportunity to shut down all of these rumors. He did no such thing.
Diggs said he “loves it here” when asked if he wants to be traded, but did not say yes or no. Said he “has a role” in #Vikings offense, “but if you want to win and you’re not winning, of course you’re going to be frustrated.”— Andrew Krammer (@Andrew_Krammer) October 3, 2019
“There’s truth to all rumors” is not exactly a good way to put out the flames of potential trade rumors, even if he follows it with “I love it here.”
As for Diggs’ excuse that he was sick on Wednesday, that seems hard to believe. When a player is sick, teams typically list a player’s absence as “illness” on the injury report. You’d think if Diggs was sick, the Vikings would absolutely list him as such to avoid the rumors that were already starting to grow. Instead, the Vikings listed it as “not injury related,” leading to the trade rumors spreading like wildfire.
On #Vikings WR Stefon Diggs: His frustration with the organization has been palpable. He was not at practice yesterday for non-injury reasons. Teammates are left wondering if he wants to be there. The team is adamant he is not available for a trade, barring some massive deal.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 3, 2019
Maybe Diggs plays for the Vikings this week. Maybe this trade talk never resurfaces, and he plays out the entirety of the five-year, $72 million extension he signed just last year. But right now his relationship with the team is curious at best and toxic at worst.