Stefon Diggs Is Either Absent From Or Present At Buffalo Bills Minicamp Depending On Who You Believe

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The Buffalo Bills began their mandatory minicamp in earnest on Tuesday and receiver Stefon Diggs, perhaps the team’s second best offensive player, was not present according to coach Sean McDermott.

“Stefon is not in attendance,” McDermott said before adding he is “very concerned” about the absence.

McDermott declined to comment further on the issue.

That set off some alarms and the answer to the bells has become, well, weird.

Normally missing mandatory minicamp is not a course players take lightly. Missing the 3-day minicamp can cost players fines nearing $99,000. So this is intriguing on multiple levels.

McDermott did not explain the reason for his concern beyond expressing it.

Sean McDermott says Stefon Diggs absent from Bills minicamp.
Sean McDermott of the Buffalo Bills talks during a press conference at Bills mini camp on June 14, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images)

Stefon Diggs Was Actually At Minicamp?

But here is where it gets weird:

SiriusXMNFL host Vic Carucci, who covered the Bills for years, reported Diggs was at the team headquarters Monday for medical testing as part of the leadup to minicamp.

What that means exactly is part of a complicated puzzle to which the pieces are not yet fully in place. Because ESPN later reported Diggs has been in Buffalo, took his physical, met with McDermott, and his agent said the player will be present at minicamp “for the entirety of the minicamp.”

So we’ve got some Sherlock Holmes mystery stuff going on here.

Diggs, it should be noted, has given no public hint of being upset about anything in the past week.

Stefon Diggs on Twitter.

Stefon Diggs Seemed Fine Until Now

Diggs tweeted his general outlook on his personal situation about a week ago.

“Life’s good,” he wrote.

Diggs also shared an Instagram story in which he crashed someone’s Bar Mitzvah and celebrated with those present. So he’s been enjoying himself.

Normally players miss minicamp when something is not good. And that something is generally a contract issue.

That, however, doesn’t make sense in this case because Diggs signed a four-year, $96 million extension last year that has him paid among the NFL’s top receivers. Diggs is scheduled to make $24.415 million this year as part of that deal.

Stefon Diggs not at Bills minicamp. Or is he?
Stefon Diggs of the Buffalo Bills reacts after a reception against the Miami Dolphins during the first quarter of the game in the AFC Wild Card playoff game at Highmark Stadium on January 15, 2023 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)

Unexplained Diggs Situation Leads To Speculation

And then there is this:

If Diggs is at minicamp but McDermott is “very concerned” about his status, it is possible he reported but is holding in, so to speak, as some sort of protest.

A hold-in is common among veteran players who show up to camp to avoid fines, but then decline to participate in practices.

One source texted OutKick his “educated guess” is Diggs is upset the Bills this offseason have not made significant additions to their offense. The source speculated Diggs, who will turn 30 years old in January, understands the window for the Bills competing for and possibly winning a Super Bowl is not open indefinitely.

Stefon Diggs and Josh Allen a dangerous duo.
Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills and Stefon Diggs #14 of the Buffalo Bills celebrate after a touchdown during the second quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Ford Field on November 20, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

Bills Have Not Added Proven Weapons

And so, Diggs, perhaps is making his displeasure know publicly without actually coming out and complaining.

The Bills have been mentioned in rumors as being interested in receiver Odell Beckham Jr. They didn’t get him and he went to the Ravens.

The Bills have been mentioned as a possible landing spot for DeAndre Hopkins. But although they checked with his agent when the veteran receiver was released, they have not set any visit as of this writing.

Hopkins, meanwhile, visited the Tennessee Titans on Sunday and Monday and is scheduled to visit the AFC East division rival New England Patriots on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Bills also had the attention of running back Dalvin Cook, who was recently released by the Minnesota Vikings. Cook mentioned to friends he’d welcome the idea of playing for the Bills because they’re a good team but mostly because his brother James Cook plays for them.

The problem is Cook reportedly wants a sizeable contract.

So the Bills so far have not scheduled any type of free agency visit with Cook and news he wants a significant contract almost eliminates them from contention.

The Bills have approximately $5.2 million is available salary cap space, per the NFLPA website.

Stefon Diggs shows his displeasure during playoff loss to Bengals.

Stefon Diggs A Bills Mystery

The Bills are a team that embraced unity and a family atmosphere last year amid numerous crisis. But the season ended in a disappointing home loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Diggs was quite unhappy that day as the Buffalo offense was limited to a field goal in the second half.

Diggs caught only four passes for 35 yards that day as the Bengals made a point of taking him out of the game. The Bills didn’t really have an alternate answer.

It’s possible if not likely that Diggs was expecting the Bills to add that alternate answer this offseason.

They did draft tight end Dalton Kincaid. They did sign receiver Trent Sherfield. But neither of those have an NFL history for consistently affecting a game.

And as the Dolphins, Jets and perhaps even the Patriots have made upgrades this offseason, perhaps Diggs is sending a message he wants the same from his team.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

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