Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs hit a wall around the midway point of the season, falling off what would have been a career-best pace and failing to catch a touchdown through the final seven games of the season.
One outlet suggests that the Bills could be bringing in a fresh face to the receiving corps next year, targeting free-agent receiver Michael Pittman Jr. and giving a major boost to the offense. Pro Football Focus named the Bills as one of three suggested landing spots, along with the Kansas City Chiefs and a return to the Indianapolis Colts.
The move would help fill a major need in Buffalo, but could ultimately prove too expensive for the cap-strapped Bills.
Tough Competition for Top Colts Receiver
The Bills will likely be in need of some new receivers next season as No. 2 Gabe Davis is headed to free agency and Diggs suffered a late-season dropoff. Pittman has proven to be a reliable target for the Colts, turning in two 1,000-yard seasons including a career-best 109 catches for 1,152 yards and four touchdowns last season.
Luring him away from Indianapolis could be a challenge for the Bills and other suitors as the Colts appear to be keen on keeping the player they drafted in 2020, SI.com’s Andrew Moore noted. Pittman has spoken well of the franchise but indicated that he would test free agency and aim for the best deal.
“As of right now until March whatever, I’m still a Colt,” Pittman said earlier this month, via SI.com. “But speaking to the contract stuff, I made it this far so – I’ve loved my four years here, but I wouldn’t be doing my due diligence if I didn’t explore every option and find the best fit.”
Pittman said at the time there had been no contract negotiations with the Colts but expected some to take place before he hit free agency.
“We kind of had an agreement that we were going to wait until the season ended and kind of feel it out,” he said. “There really haven’t been any contract negotiations or offers just because we felt like it wasn’t the right time. Whenever the right time is, I don’t know when the right time is – I’ve never done this before.”
Bills Face Another Tight Offseason
A player of Pittman’s caliber could be financially out of reach for the Bills, who will face another offseason with little salary cap space for big moves in free agency. In his season-ending press conference, Bills general manager Brandon Beane said the team would still be competitive but needed to be careful with spending what little free money they will have.
“We’re not planning to take a year off and just not be competitive,” Beane said, via the Niagara Gazette. “Will we be younger in some areas? Yes. … Sometimes when you’re trying to work your cap and when you’re paying a quarterback (like Allen), and we’ve definitely been aggressive on some pieces the last couple of years. That’s not going to be an option. I’m not laying my head down at tonight going we don’t have a shot at it next year.”
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