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Buffalo Bills make Stefon Diggs Trade

New Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who was traded from the Minnesota Vikings, catching a ball against the Green Bay Packers

The Buffalo Bills’ interest in a Stefon Diggs trade reportedly dates back to last season.

An article published Monday by Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer includes several new details about the Bill’s trade last week. The trade with Minnesota netted Buffalo its new No. 1 receiver, and he is quite the deep threat for Josh Allen. This instantly tosses the Bills into the Superbowl contender mix.

Related: Josh Allen Focusing on Deep Ball

Buffalo Bills vetted Diggs

In it, Breer writes that  “the Bills had done their homework on Diggs, because they’d been aggressive with the Vikings before the trade deadline in October, calling several times about his availability. One thing that helped: Buffalo college scouting director Terrance Gray was working for the Vikings when Diggs was drafted. So, he helped provide insight into what makes Diggs tick.”

The Vikings chose Diggs in the fifth round of the 2015 draft.

Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane speaking with the media

While the Bills were interested in Diggs last year, Breer reported that the trade last week came together quickly. On March 16, the start of the NFL’s “legal tampering” period in which agents of impending free agents could begin negotiating contracts with other teams, Diggs tweeted: “It’s time for a new beginning.”

Bills reached out to the Vikings about Diggs

According to Breer, teams responded by making calls to Minnesota to see if Diggs was actually available via trade. One of those teams was the Bills, who according to Breer, reached out at 4 p.m. that Monday.

The Vikings’ asking price for Diggs during the regular season, according to the report, was either two first-round draft picks or a first- and second-round pick.

“After a few calls back and forth, the Vikings mentioned Percy Harvin as a model for the trade. In 2013, Minnesota got first-, third- and seventh-round picks from Seattle for Harvin,” Breer wrote. “That was a little rich for the Bills’ blood, but they could get in the ballpark. In the 9 p.m. hour, the Vikings asked teams involved for their best offers.”

Multiple Teams were Interested in Stefon Diggs trade

The report goes on to say that the New England Patriots were initially one of the teams interested in Diggs, but their interest waned because they were up against the salary cap and quarterback Tom Brady’s future with the team was uncertain. (Brady, of course, ended up leaving New England.)

When the Bills called back less than six hours after originally checking in with the Vikings, the framework of a deal was in place, according to Breer.

Buffalo’s Thought Process

Here’s how he described it: “The logic for Buffalo? Emmanuel Sanders might’ve been the best free-agent option out there for the Bills at a need position, and Sanders was six-and-a-half years older. And if you packaged the picks involved — the Bills resolved not to deal a (third-round pick) — then it only would’ve gotten Buffalo from 22 overall to about 18 or so, which might not be high enough to get a Jerry Jeudy or CeeDee Lamb in April.”

In the end, the Bills sent that No. 22 overall selection to Minnesota. Also, tossing in their fifth- and sixth-round picks this year, as well as a fourth-round selection in 2021. In exchange, they received Diggs and a seventh-round pick this year.

This article was first published by The Buffalo News.

NFL Wonderlic Scores

Graph of the NFL Wonderlic Scores

Have you ever wondered how intelligent an NFL player is off the field? How about how well they can solve problems that everyday people might across? NFL executives have definitely thought about it, which is why players still take a cognitive ability test today at the NFL Draft Combine. NFL Wonderlic scores are used pre-combine to analyze decision making abilities of NFL prospects.

The Wonderlic Test

The test that is used as a pre-draft assessment to predict NFL player performance is called the Wonderlic Contemporary Cognitive Ability Test (or The Wonderlic Test for short). It consists of 50 math, vocabulary, and reasoning questions that test the test taker’s general cognitive ability.

Scantron for the NFL Wonderlic Test being filled out

The kicker is that you are only given 12 minutes to complete the exam. So, not only do you need to get the questions correct, you need to get through them quickly. Gathering NFL Wonderlic scores allows us to see how players can process and react to information in a fast-faced setting.

NFL Wonderlic Scores by Position

Since keeping records of NFL player results of the Wonderlic Test, here are the statistics by position:

PositionAverage Score
Offensive Tackle26
Tight End22
Wide Receiver17
Running Back16

Best NFL Wonderlic Scores

PlayerPositionTest Score
Ryan FitzpatrickQB49
Eric DeckerWR43
Calvin JohnsonWR41
Luke KuechlyLB34
Tom BradyQB33

Ryan Fitzpatrick is probably the most famous successful Wonderlic Test taker in the NFL. Most likely because he has been active in the NFL for 15 years and relevant throughout his career. Oh, he also went to Harvard, which commentators will bring up almost every game he’s playing in (we get it).

Related: Best Quarterbacks in the NFL 2020

Ryan Fitzpatrick playing quarterback for the Buffalo Bills

Although Pat McInally scored a 50, he wasn’t nearly as relevant as Fitzpatrick was. Fitz has played for eight different teams and thrown for over 32,000 passing yards along with 210 touchdowns. He was probably the most memorable as the Buffalo Bills quarterback from 2009-2012.

Worst NFL Wonderlic Scores

Now on to the worst results. Sticking with notable NFL players, here are some of the worst NFL Wonderlic scores submitted:

PlayerPositionTest Score
Frank GoreRB4
Sebastian JanikowskiK9
Ray LewisLB13
Lamar JacksonQB13
Jim KellyQB15

Frank Gore playing running back for the San Francisco 49ers

Although he posted an extremely low score, Frank Gore is still active in the NFL today and has been very productive throughout his career. As a running back, maybe it doesn’t matter that much after all. Gore is third all-time in rushing yards in NFL history proving that the Wonderlic Test might not matter for every position.

NFL Playoff Seeds – Behind the Numbers

NFL Playoff Seeds Stats on a picture of the Lombardi Trophy

The playoffs are upon us once again and the 12 remaining teams in the running for the Superbowl all have their seeds assigned. NFL Playoff seeds mean a whole lot when looking at the numbers on who advances throughout the playoffs. We looked through the last 20 years of NFL Playoff football and ran some numbers regarding the seeding.

Division Winners – 1st & 2nd seeds

Oh, the power of the bye week. Teams fight for those top 2 seeds because it really does make a difference having that extra week of prep and rest according to the numbers.

Since 1999, teams that had a bye week have advanced to the conference championship game 70% of the time. Taking that a step further, 75% of the teams that have advanced to the Superbowl were number 1 or 2 NFL Playoff seeds. Imagine having those odds in that unpredictable environment.

The last time a non-bye week team has made it to the Superbowl was the 2012 Baltimore Ravens, who ended up winning the whole thing. Since then there has been 6 straight Superbowls that featured only top 2 seeds.

So, maybe getting in the dance is the goal for most teams but if you really want a shot at the true prize then giving all that you’ve got to obtain one of the top 2 seeds is worth it.

 Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews celebrating with the Lombardi Trophy after winning the Superbowl against the Pittsburgh Steelers

Wild Card Weekend Teams

Not a great piece of information for the 3 and 4 seeds, but there doesn’t seem to be a huge advantage over the wild card teams. The only saving grace is that these NFL Playoff seeds get a home playoff game. Maybe your chances increase to advance from Wild Card weekend but then you must travel to the top 2 seeds that just watched your game from their couch.

Related: Home Field Advantage in the NFL

Over the last 20 seasons, only 24 teams that played on Wild Card weekend were able to make it as far as the conference championship out of 80 teams. 15 of those teams were 3 and 4 seeds and 9 of them were 5 and 6 seeds.

The good news is once these teams get that far, the percentages even out. 7 of these 24 teams have gone on to hoist the Lombardi which is just over 29% of the time (better odds than two separate coin flips for the final two games). This seems to suggest that the divisional round is a tougher test for the bottom 4 seeds than the conference championship game.

During the span of 2010-2012, all 3 Superbowl winners came from the Wild Card round in the form of the Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, and Baltimore Ravens. Unfortunately, since 2012, no team who played on Wild Card weekend has even made an appearance in the Superbowl.

Case Study: New England Patriots

It’s no surprise that the New England Patriots have been the most successful franchise since the turn of the century. Obviously having arguably, the best coach and best quarterback of all-time helps, but so does having a top 2 NFL Playoff Seed.

In the 17 years that Tom Brady has been the starting QB for the Patriots (missed one season due to injury), they have made the playoffs every year except one, which was back in 2002. Chalk up Brady not getting injured to his intense workout and nutrition regime.

Of the 16 playoff appearances, Brady and Co. have earned a top 2 seed a whopping 13 times (7 of those were the number 1 seed). Looking at those 13 instances, New England has only failed to make the AFC Championship once.

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick celebrating after winning the Superbowl

This is such an underrated piece of the puzzle for the Patriots because they get a home playoff game off a bye week against a team who just played the week before and is inferior to them.

A win in that game gets them to the AFC Championship and with the unpredictability of the NFL, you could say it is a coin flip for the next two games. That gives you a 25% chance at the Lombardi when getting that far.

Related: NFL Offense vs Defense – Inside the Numbers

But let’s face it, the New England Patriots are a little better than most. That’s why they have 6 Superbowl titles off of 13 AFC Championship appearances, which is good for a 46% shooting percentage.

Betting Lines vs. The Numbers

Want to see how our numbers match up against the Superbowl odds via the genius oddsmakers in Vegas? Take a look at the drop off from the top 2 seeds to the remaining 4 in the AFC for this year’s playoffs:

1. Baltimore Ravens: 31%

2. Kansas City Chiefs: 18%

3. New England Patriots: 7%

4. Houston Texans: 3%

5. Buffalo Bills: 2%

6. Tennessee Titans: 2%