Alaina GetzenbergESPN4 minutes of reading
An unusual Tuesday began with coach Sean McDermott responding to a question about Diggs’ availability for mandatory minicamp by saying he was “not here.” When asked how concerned he was about Dix’s absence, McDermott replied, “Very concerned. Very concerned,” then declined to engage further on the matter or provide additional details.
“Especially if players miss [a] A player of Steph’s caliber, you want to keep those players here,” McDermott said. “So overall I was pleased with the turnout and the guys’ effort.”
According to the Bills and his agent, Adisa Baccari, Diggs was in the building Monday after missing the all-team voluntary offseason training program. Diggs took a physical Monday, Bakari told ESPN’s Adam Schefter, and met with general manager Brandon Beane and McDermott on Monday and Tuesday.
Quarterback Josh Allen spoke with Diggs on Tuesday and said, “I’m sure we’re going to have some more conversations moving forward and as a system, as a QB-receiver, as an offensive coordinator, everything that goes in.”
Diggs will be “throughout minicamp,” his agent said.
According to the Bills, Diggs left the facility prior to Tuesday’s practice. He did not appear for any part of the team’s practice on the outdoor field at the facility on Tuesday. The team is also scheduled to practice on Thursday.
“I know internally we’re working on some football-related stuff, but Steph, he’s my boy. I’m sorry … I love him. He’s my brother,” Allen said Tuesday. “It wouldn’t work, what we’re doing here without him, we wish he was here today, on the field with us, which isn’t the case, but I’ve got him no matter what. Again, I have no doubt we’ll find out what’s going on and love him. I can stress that. No. There are things I can do better and try to help in the process and get him back here and be the Buffalo Bills that he should be.”
Both Allen and pass-rusher Von Miller showed their love and support for Diggs on Tuesday and played down his absence, which is in part due to early in the NFL calendar.
Diggs signed a four-year, $96 million extension last offseason, and trading him would take a significant dead cap hit with $31.1 million in dead money. His contract includes $70 million guaranteed, third all-time for a wide receiver. When the deal was signed in April 2022, the 29-year-old Diggs and the Buffalo Bills were aiming for him to retire.
After the team’s postseason loss to the Bengals in January, which featured the Buffalo offense’s lowest output of the year, Diggs was upset with Allen and left before speaking to the media.
Dix’s production slowed in the second half of the 2022 season. He started the year statistically on pace for his best career season with 72 receptions on 98 targets for 985 yards and seven touchdowns in the first nine games. In nine consecutive games, including the postseason, Diggs caught 47 receptions on 74 targets and four touchdowns.
“I think we, as an organization, may not be communicating the right way with everything,” Allen said. “So again, trying to talk and listen at the same time. And like I said, try to move this forward as quickly and respectfully as possible.”