Brandon Beane beat himself up after Buffalo's season ended in the first round of the playoffs. The Bill's general manager said then that he hadn't surrounded his young quarterback, Josh Allen, with enough pieces. That thought remained in the forefront of Beane's mind as the offseason moved along and almost as soon as he got a chance to correct that deficit, Beane did, trading for 26-year old Stefon Diggs.
"The key in this league is you gotta be able to throw when the other team knows you're gonna throw it," Beane noted in a video conference call.
The pursuit of Diggs really began prior to last year's trade deadline but Minnesota rebuffed such talk. This March, at the beginning of the negotiating window, Beane checked back in and discovered the Vikings were a little more open to moving their top wideout.
"It didn't seem like a definitive 100% no, they just were not shopping him," Beane recalled.
Within a span of half a day, the Bills football boss was able to craft an offer that the Vikings couldn't refuse, outbidding several other teams by putting four draft picks on the table, including this year's first rounder. That would appear to be a high price, especially with a draft as stocked at the wide receiver position, but Beane believes he did the right thing for his football team.
"It's just a more proven thing right now and what we're dealing with did weigh into that," he said, referencing the circumstances we are dealing with in a non-football sense, with the COVID-19 pandemic. "I know this guy (Diggs) knows ball and will be able to understand the verbiage once he learns our system."
As for the reputation Diggs brings to Buffalo, Beane trusts the research his staff did and that a player just two years removed from a 100-plus catch season deserves and gets a clean slate in upstate New York.
"I think one of the misnomers out there is that we're looking for all choir boys," Beane said. "That's not accurate. We are looking for professionals. I would say this about him: he's a very competitive guy...he brings an edge to that position. I know diva gets put onto that position a lot. I would not call that guy a diva. I would call him more of I think what he was referring to Josh Allen as -- a dog.
"We believe in our culture. We believe in the facts that we know about him. We believe he will be a fit here."