News | Minnesota Vikings – vikings.com

Stefon Diggs: 'I Feel Like I'm Where I Should Be'

EAGAN, Minn. — Stefon Diggs, who delivered one of the most memorable finishes in NFL history to extend the Vikings playoff run in January, has extended his time in Minnesota.

The receiver has signed a contract extension with the Vikings, the team announced Tuesday.

"I feel like I'm where I should be and where I need to be," Diggs told Vikings.com's Mike Wobschall moments after making a few pen strokes alongside Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman. "I've built some great things here. I just want to thank the Wilfs and the Vikings organization for taking a chance on me early. I put in a lot of work to get here, but I didn't do it by myself. I'm just happy to be where I am."

Count quarterback Kirk Cousins and Offensive Coordinator John DeFilippo among those who are happy to see the receiver sign before starting the final year of his rookie deal. Both are working with the receiver for the first time, and both have been quickly impressed by multiple aspects of Diggs' game.

The "great natural hands, the good short-area quickness and agility, long speed, ability to track the ball in the air really well," were among the qualities Cousins rattled off.

"I could stand up here a while talking about Stef' and all his attributes," Cousins said. "I think at the end of the day, what I most like is that he loves football and loves to come and work. Because as a quarterback, it can be miserable if you're working with someone who really is just out here to get a paycheck and leave. He wants to work, he's excited to practice, he wants to compete. He loves the game, he's coachable. I think that whole part of his personality is what makes it, when I say it's a great locker room, a great culture, it's players like that carrying themselves in that way."

The work ethic and passion for the game, however, are probably the favorites of Cousins, who relayed to media how much enthusiasm Diggs had at 9:15 Monday during a late installation meeting.

"As we're installing the 100th play of the install, he's still taking notes and he's listening," Cousins said. "If the coach has a point to make, he's writing it down, and he's taking the coaching and translating it to the field the next day. That's just one example, but it manifests itself over and over in each meeting, in each conversation at lunch, each practice, each walk through."

DeFilippo added Diggs is "smart, he loves football, he's assignment-sound, coachable, he's got a lot of energy, explosive, and he catches the football."

"I love that guy," DeFilippo said. "He's exactly what you want in a player and, in my mind, a superstar player."

Selected 146th overall in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Diggs began stacking play after play in front of fans during his rookie training camp.

After being inactive for the first three weeks that season, Diggs caught six passes for 87 yards at Denver and followed with a seven-catch, 129-yard showing in his first career start (against Kansas City).

"Being a young player is not as easy as people think," Diggs reflected. "But as far as staying at the grind and never giving up, and really giving it everything I've got, so to be here today is a blessing. For me, I'm just more grateful than anything."

Diggs has become the fastest Viking to record 200 receptions. He did so in just 40 regular-season games, breaking the mark of 42 set by Percy Harvin.

Diggs' 200 receptions are the fourth-most by a Vikings player in his first three seasons, behind Moss (226 from 1998-2000), running back Rickey Young (224 from 1978-80) and Harvin (218 from 2009-11).

He has totaled 2,472 yards and 15 touchdowns in the regular season.

Diggs has posed multiple threats to defenses. He's capable of lining up at multiple spots before the snap and creating separation from defenders with crisp routes and explosive movements. When defenders are in the area, Diggs has shown a high level of concentration on contested catches, ranking No. 1 in the NFL in 2017 with a contested-catch rate of 64.0 percent, according to analytics site Pro Football Focus.

View the best images of Vikings WR Stefon Diggs as he signed his contract extension with the Vikings on Tuesday.

He's also feasted on the division. In 14 NFC North games, Diggs has 78 receptions for 992 yards (12.7 yards per reception) and nine touchdowns. He has five or more receptions in 11 of those contests.

In January, when Diggs started his second and third postseason games, he totaled 14 receptions for 207 yards, including an incredible 61-yard touchdown catch on the final play against the Saints. Diggs crossed the goal line as time expired to lift the Vikings to a 29-24 victory and give him 137 yards on the night, which is the sixth-most by a Minnesota player in a playoff game.

The play was presented an ESPY for "Best Moment" earlier this month and won "Play of the Year" at NFL Honors in February.

By signing Diggs, the Vikings were able to continue a pattern of draft, develop and retain under Spielman. That approach has been fully implemented on defense and has extended to the offensive side of the ball, with Diggs, Adam Thielen and tight end Kyle Rudolph all on long-term deals for Cousins, who joined the Vikings via a three-year contract this offseason.

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