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Stefon Diggs’ addition highlights Bills large offseason haul

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Frustrated by the Bills collapse in an AFC wild-card playoff loss at Houston, general manager Brandon Beane opened the offseason suggesting Buffalo wasn’t one player away from being a better team.

Beane backed up that sentiment by making a series of additions – highlighted by agreeing to acquire receiver Stefon Diggs in a trade with Minnesota – in leading up to the start of the NFL’s signing period Wednesday.

League rules prevented teams from announcing the acquisition of players who have not taken a physical. And players are currently barred from visiting team facilities until March 31 as a result of the new coronavirus.

That didn’t stop the Bills from posting previous media reports of the team’s acquisitions on their website.

Diggs was the key addition in a trade in which Buffalo gave up four draft picks, including its first-round selection (22nd overall) this year.

The dynamic fifth-year receiver provides the Josh Allen-led offense a primary deep threat it has been previously missing, and joins a group of established receivers rounded out by Cole Beasley and John Brown.

With a projected $75 million in salary cap space entering the new NFL year, Beane didn’t stop there in shoring up various needs on a defense that allowed the third-fewest yards in the NFL last season, and fewest in 2018.

The more notable additions were defensive tackle Vernon Butler, defensive end Mario Addison and linebacker A.J. Klein. Butler and Addison offset Buffalo losing defensive tackle Jordan Phillips and defensive end Shaq Lawson to free agency. Klein stands to replace Lorenzo Alexander, who previously announced he is ending his career.

The additions free Beane to target the best talent over positional need in using Buffalo’s seven remaining picks in the draft next month. The Bills currently open the draft with the 54th selection.

Among Buffalo’s more pressing needs is at running back to complement Devin Singletary, who took over the starting job in his rookie season last year.