Did the Patriots’ unsuccessful attempt to acquire Stefon Diggs lead to the departure of Tom Brady? Here’s how close a deal was

Did the Patriots' unsuccessful attempt to acquire Stefon Diggs lead to the departure of Tom Brady?  Here's how close a deal was

Tom Brady and Stefon Diggs are both bidding for a spot in Super Bowl LV at the conference championships on Sunday. In a reality alternative, that fact remains true, although both stars may be playing for the New England Patriots. In the hours leading up to the AFC and NFC title games, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network highlighted the off-season seismic trade between the Vikings and the Bills that landed Buffalo Diggs, which then turned into a 2020 season where he was named the All-Pro First Team.

While it was the Bills who managed to chase Diggs on that fateful evening of March 16, rival AFC East of Buffalo, New England was also considered a runner-up for receiver services, according to Rapoport. In fact, the Vikings even called the Patriots back to see if they would match or improve the final offer from Buffalo, which had four picks, including a 2020 first round (Justin Jefferson). When the Patriots refused to raise the stake, the deal was executed between Minnesota and Buffalo, with Diggs heading for the Bills.

While the deal itself turned out to be a real one game-change for both the Bills – who ultimately got a star receiver to pair with Josh Allen – and the Vikings – who landed star rookie Justin Jefferson – it could have even more of an impact on the league landscape than ‘it was not originally thought.

Following New England’s refusal to go full steam ahead and acquire Diggs on March 16, Brady officially announced on March 17 that he would be leaving the organization and signing elsewhere in free agency. Could the Diggs acquisition also have confirmed that Brady would have remained in New England for the foreseeable future? It’s hard to say definitively, but it certainly would have shifted the momentum in favor of the Patriots to keep their franchise icon.

While things didn’t work out for New England in the days and months following that failed Diggs chase, the quarterback and receiver appear to be doing very well with the Bucs and Bills, respectively.

In his first season with Tampa Bay, Brady threw for his most passing yards (4,633) since the 2017 season when he won the league MVP title. He also had 40 passing touchdowns, which is the most since throwing a 50-scoring record in the undefeated New England regular season in 2007. As for Diggs, he led the league in receptions (127) and receiving yards (1,535) in 2020.

Now the two are playing for a shot at qualifying for the Super Bowl while Bill Belichick and the rest of the Patriots are potentially wondering, “What if?” as they continue to plan their offseason rebuilding after a 7-9 campaign.

Via: www.cbssports.com

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