It’s tough to describe the moment when you find out you just got traded.
When my agent called and said, “You’re going to be a Buffalo Bill,” honestly, it took a second to digest. I know that the NFL is a business first and foremost. But you’re never really ready for that kind of news, you know? Your mind definitely goes in 100 different directions.
The first thing I felt was pure excitement. I was like, O.K., Buffalo, Buffalo, Buffalo … what do I know about Buffalo?
They got some of the best wings, right?
I knew that for sure. I can definitely get with a place like that.
So, wings, and….
They got Josh Allen, too.
The Bills came to Minnesota a couple of years ago and spanked us. It was Week 3 back in 2018, and it was the kind of upset that you’ve seen the Bills pull off a lot over the past few years. It’s like even though they’ve been on the rise for a minute now, it somehow seems like people are always sleeping on them.
We were favored in that game. Heavily. But Buffalo was ready. They beat us, 27–6, and one play really stands out to me. It was late in the first quarter. Josh dropped back, then took off running up the middle. About 10 yards down the field, our defense closed in on him. And just when it looked like he was dead in the water, he leaped over one of our linebackers — I mean hurdled the guy. He flew like five yards through the air, and he got the first down.
You just don’t see a lot of quarterbacks do stuff like that.
I remember being on the sidelines thinking, O.K. … this guy’s got some moxie. He just had a ton of energy and played with so much passion. And anybody who knows me knows that I’m a passionate guy. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I give everything I got every time I step onto the field.
I could tell right away that Josh Allen was the same type of player.
So once I found out about the trade, I couldn’t wait to go to work with him.
Hannah Foslien/Getty ImagesBut that’s just one part of the roller coaster. When you get traded, the emotions come at you fast, and they’re all over the map. It’s like I got that rush of excitement because I was going to Buffalo — a city that has such a passionate fanbase — to play with a guy like Josh Allen.
Then the texts started coming in, and I remembered what I was leaving.
Kirk was one of the first guys to text me. He was super appreciative of the time we spent together over the last couple of years, and he was just as encouraging, wishing me the best of luck in Buffalo. And it’s like … what do I even say about Kirk? This is a man who has invited me into his home. Introduced me to his family. Put in the extra hours with us. He’s a guy who, through all the ups and downs over the last couple of years, I’ve developed a tremendous amount of appreciation and respect for. I’m definitely going to miss playing with and learning from him.
Adam texted me almost immediately, too. He was like, “I can’t wait to jersey-swap with you.” And Adam? Man, that’s my guy right there. We’ve been through a lot together. He’s a guy I hold dear to my heart, and I’m damn sure gonna miss him.
Kyle hit me up, too, and it was the same thing. All love, all appreciation, and all the best wishes moving forward.
I even had guys from around the league who I had never even played with before DMing me and saying the same thing: wishing me luck, telling me to go get after it up in Buffalo. And that’s big, man. When you play at this level, and you earn the respect of your peers to the point where they take it upon themselves to wish you well in the next chapter of your career, it definitely feels good. It’s truly humbling.
David Berding/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Playing in the NFL really is a dream come true. I mean, when I got drafted, I remember thinking how fortunate I was to get to play a game for a living. To come to work every day and do the one thing I love more than anything else. Compete. Let my passion show. That’s an unbelievable gift. I never take that for granted.
But then you get to someplace like Minnesota, and you realize that it’s so much more than that. More than you ever even imagined.
It’s the Skol chant. It’s playing catch with young fans in the stands before every game. It’s really connecting with people — being out in the community and visiting local hospitals, talking to kids, participating in football camps. My birthday is November 29, so in the Diggs household, Thanksgiving and my birthday were always celebrated together. And for the past few years, I’ve celebrated my birthday by having a Thanksgiving turkey drive, providing turkeys to families in need in and around Minneapolis. And out of all the memories I have from five years in Minnesota, I hold those turkey drives closer to my heart than anything. That was my favorite event, at my favorite time of year.I hold those turkey drives closer to my heart than anything.
I’ll truly miss that.
But it’s on to Buffalo.
And I can’t even tell you how excited I am for this new opportunity.
I’m getting even more excited just writing about it. I mean, honestly, if you look at this Bills team — if you look at it RIGHT NOW, in 2020? I think it’s a team that’s ready to be great. I don’t know how anybody could look at this team, this roster, and the passion this team plays with and not be excited to be a part of it.
I already talked about Josh Allen. But then you got John Brown, who’s been a baller since he came on the scene in Arizona, and he just had the best season of his career. You got Cole Beasley, who’s an excellent route-runner and has a crazy ability to create separation. I look forward to learning from those guys and, together, taking that offense to the next level.
Then you throw in a top 10 running game and a top three defense?
That’s what I’m saying: This is a team that’s ready to do something special.
And I truly believe it’s just getting started.
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images
People in Minnesota will always remember me for the Minneapolis Miracle. And I’m proud of that. I mean, to be at the center of one of the most iconic plays for a franchise with a history as rich as the Vikings’? I wear that as a badge of honor. And no matter what, Minnesota, we’ll always have that.
My only regret is that we didn’t finish the job.
The goal was to win a Super Bowl, and we didn’t do that. And that’s another thing I know about Buffalo: I know about the heartbreak. I know how badly that city wants a Super Bowl. I know that much.
Y’all like to jump on tables, right?
I’ve heard some stories, but I’m gonna have to see that for myself.
I know you’ll show me when the time comes.
So, Minnesota: Thank you. For taking a chance on me. For believing in me. No matter where my NFL journey takes me, it will always have started in Minnesota. And I’m truly proud of that.
And to Buffalo?
I’m just excited.
I already got Bills fans hitting me up on Twitter inviting me out to get some wings. They’re telling me about all the best spots. So I’m looking forward to that.
But more than anything, I’m looking forward to the opportunity. I can’t wait to get there and help take this team to the next level. Hopefully, to the highest level.
Let’s get it, Buffalo.