Stefon Diggs traded to Texans: 5 teams who missed out on All-Pro WR

The Houston Texans continue to load up around C.J. Stroud. Meanwhile, several NFL teams look a bit silly for letting Stefon Diggs slip away.

Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills
Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

The Houston Texans put the NFL on notice Wednesday afternoon, acquiring Stefon Diggs from the Buffalo Bills in exchange for pocket change. Well, fine, more than pocket change. But not much more.

Buffalo will receive a 2025 second-round pick from Houston. That's it. In exchange, the Texans receive one of the best wideouts in football, as well as fifth and sixth-round picks in 2025. I think maybe there's a winner.

This is a tremendous piece of business for the Texans, who already landed Joe Mixon in a trade with the Cincinnati Bengals. After his breakout rookie season, C.J. Stroud might just have the best supporting cast in football — not to mention a wunderkind offensive coordinator calling the plays in Bobby Slowik.

Diggs joins a WR room that already includes Tank Dell and Nico Collins. Are the Texans, like, favorites in the AFC next season? Maybe that's a stretch, but also, maybe the Chiefs need to keep one eye on Houston at all times.

Meanwhile, a large portion of the NFL looks pretty silly for not beating the Texans' offer. Diggs is 30 years old with a hefty contract, but the Texans are all in with Stroud still on his rookie deal. As they should be.

Here are the teams who missed out, big time.

5. Chargers sure could use someone like Stefon Diggs

The Los Angeles Chargers traded Keenan Allen and let Mike Williams walk, with both moves serving as cost-cutting maneuvers. So, frankly, LA was never going to trade for Diggs at his current price point. Still, the Chargers dropped the bag for Jim Harbaugh and are looking to build a contender around Justin Herbert. The current state of their WR room is a bit baffling considering where the team wants to go.

Diggs would have alleviated concerns about the WR position ahead of this month's NFL Draft. The Chargers will probably land a talented wideout on draft night — Rome Odunze or Malik Nabers, or maybe even Marvin Harrison Jr. — but there's something to be said for experience. Especially when the goal is to win a Super Bowl.

Instead of allowing a rookie WR to learn the ropes from Stefon Diggs, Los Angeles will probably thrust a 21-year-old into a featured role out of the gate. It can work, but there is downside risk. Quentin Johnston arrived with bold expectations last season and flopped. The Chargers will land a better prospect this time around, but still, rookies offer little in terms of certainty.

LA has the coach and the QB, but none of the complementary pieces necessary to sustain a contending offense. That can change, but time is running out and a golden opportunity just passed by.

4. Falcons could have paired Stefon Diggs with his former QB

Stefon Diggs shared a couple seasons with Kirk Cousins in Minnesota, which would have made the Atlanta Falcons feel like a second home. The Falcons spent a lot to bring Cousins onboard this offseason, but there's still a potential need at WR. Darnell Mooney and Rondale Moore provide an upgrade over last season's WR2 and WR3, but right now, Drake London still feels a bit isolated as Atlanta's featured wideout.

Few teams have poured more draft resources into their offense than Atlanta in recent years. Now, the front office is finally taking the steps necessary to contend, full stop. Pairing Diggs and London would have provided Cousins with two dynamic pass-catchers who possess very complementary skill sets. London is a big, physical red-zone threat. Diggs can break games open with his speed and agility in the open field.

Atlanta's offense should be fine without Diggs. New OC Zac Robinson figures to steal from the Sean McVay playbook, installing an offense that Cousins is intimately familiar with. Kyle Pitts is due for his breakout season and Bijan Robinson offers plenty of utility as a pass-catcher out of the backfield, or even lined up wide.

Still, all season we'll be wondering how much better the Falcons would look with Stefon Diggs catching passes from their $180 million quarterback.

3. Steelers still need WR help... Stefon Diggs qualified

The Pittsburgh Steelers essentially salary-dumped Diontae Johnson to the Carolina Panthers, parting with a talented wideout who never could put the pieces together. Now, it's George Pickens and not much else in the WR room. Russell Wilson is an upgrade over Kenny Pickett, and Arthur Smith is an upgrade over Matt Canada, but it won't matter if the personnel isn't up to snuff.

This was a prime opportunity missed by the Steelers' front office. It's not like the Bills wanted to keep Diggs out of the AFC; Buffalo quite possibly launched Houston into a higher competitive tier with one fell swoop. If the Bills are so ready to admit defeat and clear the books, Pittsburgh should have been at the front of the line.

Smith's playbook in Atlanta was difficult to understand. He never fully utilized his best weapons, preferring to spread the wealth and keep everyone involved, often to a fault. That approach could rub a player like Diggs the wrong way. Even so, Pittsburgh had the chance to plant an established veteran leader opposite Pickens. With how volatile Pickens' approach has been since arriving in Pittsburgh, Diggs' guidance could have gone a long way — both on and off the field.

Pittsburgh just lost ground in the AFC. Buffalo will still compete as long as Josh Allen is around, and the Texans are no longer Wild Card fodder. It's a tough mountain to climb for Mike Tomlin's squad.

2. Stefon Diggs and Jordan Love? What could have been for Packers

It's not fair to compare Jordan Love to C.J. Stroud, but the Green Bay Packers and Houston Texans are in a similar boat. Both are young teams, with young (momentarily inexpensive) quarterbacks fresh off their first postseason victory. The Texans pushed all their chips in. Green Bay should be following a similar strategy.

The Packers' WR room was often a point of weakness last season. Love is a mega-talented signal-caller, but the absence of a true workhorse, No. 1 WR was evident. Jayden Reed and Romeo Doubs are on the ascent, but the Packers would benefit a ton from an established ringleader in Diggs' vein. We have officially seen Love make every throw in the book. Now, it's time to start loading up on help.

Green Bay has the luxury of time and patience, to a certain extent. Matt LaFleur is a proven offensive whiz and Love, at 25, is still just getting started. That said, Love's next contract is coming down the pipeline and the Packers won't be able to keep him around for cheap. Now was the time to land an expensive, explosive wideout, while the books are still relatively clean.

Maybe Reed and Doubs take another leap, and we forget all about the possibility of Diggs by midseason. But, as of now, it sure feels like Green Bay should have outbid Houston.

1. Patriots could have saved rookie QB with Stefon Diggs

The New England Patriots' WR room is the worst in all of football, with the possible exception of the new-look Bills. It's silly to think that New England is going to contend next season under Jerod Mayo, but there's a difference between retooling and flat-out negligence.

Generally, bad teams don't offload prime draft capital to land expensive, 30-year-old WRs. That said, we all know what the Patriots are going to do in a few weeks. New England will add a rookie QB through the draft, setting up a training camp battle between the rook and Jacoby Brissett. Odds are, the rookie will "win" at some point and New England will seek to build a future around that rookie.

Right now, the Patriots are setting up their next QB for failure. It doesn't matter how much natural talent a quarterback possesses if his best options are Demario Douglas and Kendrick Bourne. There was plenty to like about Douglas' rookie season, but he's 5-foot-8 with a utility skill set. The Patriots just don't have a proper WR1 on the roster, not to mention their shoddy O-line and ineffective backfield.

Diggs would have served a purpose beyond winning football games. He would give the Pats' next QB a fighting chance — the sort of dependable, defense-bending WR that can unlock even the most mediocre signal-callers. Sometimes, the success of a draft pick boils down to situation. A great prospect can be squandered by poor circumstances. New England could have avoided that fate, but alas, we know the Patriots haven't been serious about team-building since Tom Brady left.

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