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With Stefon Diggs, Bills turn up the heat on Josh Allen

Vic Carucci

The Buffalo Bills have given Josh Allen a No. 1 receiver.

At the same time, they've taken away what has been widely viewed as the lone perceived obstacle preventing him from becoming every bit the franchise quarterback they saw when they made him the seventh overall pick in the 2018 draft.

Stefon Diggs' arrival via a blockbuster trade with the Minnesota Vikings Monday night, as first reported by Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, changes everything for Allen and the entire Bills team.

Diggs is universally seen as the instant answer who will transform the Bills into not only a favorite to win the AFC East (especially with Tom Brady announcing Tuesday he is leaving the New England Patriots) but a team that should make a deep postseason run in the 2020 season.

Diggs is one of the very best targets in the NFL, an ultra-dynamic playmaker who cost the Bills their first-, fifth- and sixth-round draft picks this year, and a fourth-round choice in 2021, per ESPN. Even with the seven picks they still have (including two sixth-rounders and the seventh-round selection the Vikings attached to the deal), that's known as mortgaging the future with the expectation of a massive payoff for the present.

Now it is up to Allen to make the absolute most of that investment.

He showed improvement last season from his rookie year, but even his strongest supporters would agree there is plenty of room for growth, especially after his disappointing performance in the Bills' wild-card playoff loss at Houston in January.

With Diggs, and with John Brown and Cole Beasley sliding down into the Nos. 2 and 3 roles that they were meant to fill after joining the team last year, Allen will be looked upon to quickly make those strides.

There can no longer be lingering questions about his long-ball accuracy or being inclined to "try to do too much" and make the inevitable blunders that result.

Not with the addition of a receiver who has averaged 73 catches for 924 yards and six touchdowns in his five NFL seasons and was among the league's most proficient at receptions of 20 or more yards.

General Manager Brandon Beane put his professional reputation on the line to upgrade the Bills' offense in the biggest way possible because he's anticipating nothing less than sky-rocketing ascension from his quarterback.

Coach Sean McDermott has accepted the challenge of managing a renowned diva receiver, who publicly complained about his former QB, Kirk Cousins, enough to essentially force the Vikings to deal him away. During his time with Minnesota, Diggs produced as much drama as he did big plays. He's hardly the protoype of a "one-eleventh" McDermott-type player.

But this is going to be the fourth season of the McDermott-Beane era. With a defense that ranks among the league's best, they clearly felt the time had come to do what they believed was necessary to put the team over the top as a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

It's on Allen to make it a reality.

Bills pull blockbuster, acquire WR Stefon Diggs

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