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Contract details for Stefon Diggs show he’ll be with Buffalo Bills in 2023

Despite maybe not participating at Bills mandatory minicamp, Stefon Diggs will be on the roster in 2023

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Simply put, the financials of the matter make it a lock that wide receiver Stefon Diggs is going to remain with the Buffalo Bills in 2023. You could call it an opinion, but it goes beyond opinion for me.

The Buffalo Bills gave Diggs a massive contract extension in 2022, making their enigmatic wide receiver one of the highest-paid players at his position. The market hasn’t changed all that much in the interceding time frame and he’s still among the top earners at wideout.

In the last three months, the Bills have given Diggs nearly $23 million dollars in bonus money — and Diggs had to agree to some of that. His original contract signed in 2022 included a $16 million option bonus in 2023 that the Bills could convert to signing bonus to spread out the cap hit. In addition to that, the Bills converted $6.754 million in 2023 base salary into that signing bonus, as well, spreading out the cap hit of his 2023 compensation over five years. (That last part needed a signature from Diggs to accomplish.) As long as no void years are added, this is typically built into the language of the deal and wouldn’t require a signature from Diggs.

All of that money needs to be accounted for on Buffalo’s salary cap, and if the Bills released him or traded him, it would accelerate onto the 2023 and 2024 caps. As it is after June 1, Buffalo can designate anything beyond the 2023 cap hit to be assigned to the 2024 cap.

That being said, Diggs has $45.5 million in dead cap right now that still needs to be accounted for. For perspective, Matt Ryan’s $40 million dead-cap hit was the highest in NFL history not too long ago.

If somehow the Bills were forced to get rid of Diggs, they could trade him and free up $505,000 in 2023 cap space but be on the hook for $31 million in cap space in 2024. They could release him and free up $1.67 million in cap space in 2023 but would get that same $31 million hit in 2024. Unlike with some contracts you see where the Bills could recoup portions of guaranteed salary, this has already been paid in a bonus. Buffalo wouldn’t see any cap relief whatsoever and would have paid him $23 million in 2023 to literally not be on their team.

That’s the main sticking point for me. The Bills gave him $23 million three months ago. They need him on the field for that type of investment. They aren’t going to get a significant return in a trade for Diggs.

Ultimately, someone is going to step in and smooth over whatever problems there are and Diggs will be on the sideline, no matter how concerned head coach Sean McDermott is about the veteran missing minicamp.

Ed. note: This article was updated to reflect that Diggs did not need to agree to his contract restructure earlier this offseason.