Earlier this offseason, the Minnesota Vikings made two major transactions: signing quarterback Kirk Cousins to a contract extension and trading wide receiver Stefon Diggs.
The Diggs trade seemed to be the inevitable conclusion to what was an untenable situation. Diggs had made it apparent–explicitly and implicitly–that he was unhappy in Minnesota and a trade was probably best for both parties.
In exchange for Diggs and a seventh-round pick, the Vikings received first-, fifth- and sixth-round selections in this year’s draft and a fourth-rounder next spring. However, Minnesota is losing 165 receptions, 2,151 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns worth of production over the last two seasons.
In a conversation with reporters today, Cousins addressed both moves. He called his two-year, $66 million extension a “win-win” scenario for he and the team and indicated that was also the case with trading Diggs.
“It’s a unique dynamic,” Cousins said, via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. “It became apparent that he wanted to play elsewhere, and I think it was smart of the Vikings to grant him that opportunity. I think it wasn’t a mystery, and that’s OK, and I wish him really well. I just so enjoyed playing with him. He’s a special player, and we now have to find a way to move forward and replace that.
“We’re always looking for win-wins, whether that was with my contract or in Stefon’s situation. It didn’t seem to be able to work going forward as it was, so we tried to find the best win-win that we could.’’
Speaking with reporters on a Zoom call today, Kirk Cousins said it was smart for the Vikings to grant Stefon Diggs his wishes to play elsewhere. Cousins said it was apparent Diggs wanted to be somewhere else, "and that's OK."
— Ben Goessling (@GoesslingStrib) April 14, 2020
Currently, the Vikings have star Adam Thielen and the recently-signed Tajae Sharpe as their top two wide receivers. Beyond that, there’s last year’s seventh-round pick Bisi Johnson (31 catches as a rookie) and a motley mix of unproven young players.
It seems likely that the Vikings will target a wide receiver or two in next week’s NFL Draft, perhaps as early as the first round.
Minnesota owns the 22nd and 25th picks in this year’s first round.