Kirk Cousins admits it won’t be easy to replace Stefon Diggs, but the Vikings quarterback said the team made the best out of the situation.
Diggs made his trade demand clear, and the Vikings complied.
Minnesota got first-, fifth- and sixth-round choices in 2020 and a fourth-rounder in 2021 in exchange for Diggs and a seventh-round selection.
“It’s a unique dynamic,” Cousins said Tuesday, 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.”
Although Diggs seemed upset with Cousins at times last season, the receiver praised his former quarterback in a recent first-person story for The Players’ Tribune. Diggs said he received a text from Cousins wishing him luck soon after the trade.
But, for whatever reason, Diggs has wanted out of Minnesota for a while.
“We’re always looking for win-wins, whether that was with my contract [extension] or in Stefon’s situation,” Cousins said. “It didn’t seem to be able to work [with Diggs] going forward as it was, so we tried to find the best win-win that we could.’’
Replacing Diggs won’t be easy. He had 1,130 yards last season and 1,021 in 2018. He scored 17 touchdowns over the past three seasons.
Cousins expects multiple players to replace Diggs’ production, including rookies selected next week. Receiver Tajae Sharpe, signed as a free agent, also “will step in and make a big difference,” Cousins said.
“[Diggs] was electric,’’ Cousins said. “The guys who have those movement skills don’t grow on trees. But you can find other ways to do things. I think one great example is when we lost [wide receiver] Adam [Thielen] for six or seven weeks [last season with a hamstring injury], you watched our offense evolved.’’