Jaguars face daunting AFC South climb after massive Texans trade

• Stefon Diggs has landed in the AFC South. The Jaguars will have to face him twice a season.

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) looks for yards after the catch. Diggs had 4 catches
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) looks for yards after the catch. Diggs had 4 catches / Jamie Germano/Rochester Democrat and

Wide receiver Stefon Diggs has continually gotten the spotlight for his cryptic posts on social media. If his goal was to get traded, he's achieved it. The Bills are shipping the four-time Pro Bowl nod to the Houston Texans. Now, the Jacksonville Jaguars will have to face him twice in 2024.

The Bills are trading Diggs, along with a fifth and a sixth-round pick, to Houston in exchange for a second-round pick, per multiple reports. In Diggs, the Texans get a No. 1 receiver who can help Tank Dell and Nico Collins get more favorable matchups. Running backs Joe Mixon and Dameon Pierce should also benefit from Diggs' arrivals, as opposing defenses will no longer be able to load up the box.

Having traded Diggs, the Bills will now be tasked with restocking their wide receiver corps. Besides trading Diggs, they also lost Gabe Davis in free agency. It's also worth noting that Diggs will leave a dead cap hit of $30 million, so the Bills might've grown legitimately tired of his antics if they were willing to incur such a massive amount of dead money.

Just hours before the trade took place, Diggs had gotten into a squabble with a fan. Former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin Jr. said he believed the veteran wideout was paramount to quarterback Josh Allen's success.

In response, a fan said Allen most definitely benefited from having Diggs around but didn't think he was essential, didn't think Diggs was essential to his success. Diggs saw the comment and asked, "You sure?"

The Bills gave up several draft picks, including a first-rounder, to acquire Diggs from the Minnesota Vikings in 2020. In Buffalo, he appeared in 65 games and hauled in 445 receptions for 5,372 yards with 37 touchdowns. For his career, he has 810 catches for 9,995 yards with 67 touchdowns.

The Jaguars could have trouble reclaiming the AFC South crown from the Texans

Fans were growing tired of Stefon Diggs' antics toward the end of his stint in Buffalo. That said, he will benefit from a fresh start. While he might've been a headache for the Bills and the Vikings, he'll be incentivized to prove he's still a top-notch receiver. That's not great news for the Jaguars.

The move has the potential to backfire, but if Diggs can stay focused and play at a Pro Bowl level, he'll give the Texans an edge in the race for the AFC South. Even if Diggs is a step slower, he should benefit from the wide array of weapons sophomore quarterback C.J. Stroud has at his disposal. Before he suffered a season-ending injury in 2023, Tank Dell showed he was the real deal as a rookie. If he's back at full strength in 2024, he and Diggs will give the Texans a 1-2 punch at receiver.

On top of that, the Texans still have Noah Brown, Nico Collins, and John Metchie III in the fold, so Jacksonville will need to pick their poison when they face their division foe.

To counter, the Jaguars must bolster their cornerback room in the draft. Tyson Campbell is poised to bounce back in 2024 and Roland Darby should be an adequate replacement for Darious Williams. However, Jacksonville could benefit from adding a young prospect such as Kool-Aid McKinstry, Terrion Arnold, or Quinyon Mitchell in the first round.

The bottom line is that the race for the AFC South crown is heating up after the Texans traded for Stefon Diggs. If the Jaguars want to keep up they must come out of the draft with a hanful of playmakers.

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