The Buffalo Bills made one of the biggest moves of the 2024 NFL offseason dealing star wide receiver Stefon Diggs to the Houston Texans in a blockbuster trade. Now, facing the media for the first time, head coach Sean McDermott revealed what he told his players after shipping out one of the squad’s best players.

“The message for us right now is, belief in who we are. Everything starts with belief, right? In anything you do, in mindset, looking at the opportunity in front of us this season, and just being present and our focus being on where we are today and what we have to do to get ourselves ready to play,” McDermott said.

“And if you shortchange that process — or shortcut that process — you’re going to make a big mistake. So those are the things we can control right now.”

That’s a lot of coach-speak that translates to, we know this move doesn’t make us better on the field, but it’s what we got now, so let’s make the best of it.

After that, McDermott seemed to use some code words that may suggest why the Stefon Diggs trade happened in the first place.

“We’re … building our culture because you’ve got to do that every day, right? And every year. It’s a year-to-year league. And so, we’re trying to build that respect, the love our guys need to have for each other. What comes out of that is that trust we’re going to need going through the journey of the season,” McDermott explained.

While it hasn’t been confirmed, the general consensus is that the Bills traded Diggs because he had become more of a hassle than he is worth now at 30 years old. In 2023, he had his lowest receiving yards total since arriving in Buffalo.

And when the Bills went on their five-game winning streak to salvage their season, Diggs’ targets noticeably went down. He also had a crucial dropped ball in the team’s heartbreaking playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

On top of all this, he’s had some noticeable blowups at quarterback Josh Allen on the sidelines in front of TV cameos, was mysteriously unhappy in training camp last offseason and has become a distraction with his cryptic social-media posts.

So when McDermott uses words like “culture,” “respect” and “trust” it’s hard not to read that as a not-so-subtle dig at Diggs.

The Bills don’t have a strong WR corps after the Stefon Diggs trade

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Khalil Shakir (10) celebrates his touchdown catch against the Steelers.
Jamie Germano/Rochester Democrat and Chronicle / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Stefon Diggs trade may have helped the locker room, but it also left a huge hole on the roster.

The Bills WR room now includes Curtis Samuel, Mack Hollins, Khalil Shakir, K.J. Hamler, Andy Isabella, Justin Shorter, Tyrell Shavers and Bryan Thompson. That’s a whole lot of WR3s at best with maybe some WR2s mixed in. And while Shakir and Shorter both have some potential for more, there isn’t a WR1 in this bunch.

This likely means the Bills will take a wideout with their first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. They could stick at No. 28 and take one of the solid prospects who should still be on the board or, as general manager Brandon Beane likes to do, they could trade up and target a specific pass-catcher like he did for Dalton Kincaid last season.

The most likely WR prospects to find themselves in Buffalo next season include LSU’s Brian Thomas Jr., Oregon’s Troy Franklin, Texas’ Adonai Mitchell or Xavier Worth, Georgia’s Ladd McConkey, or Florida State’s Keon Coleman. The first two players on this list — and maybe the first three — would require a trade up.