Colts’ road to reclaiming AFC South gets tougher with Texans trade for Stefon Diggs

Houston Texans v Buffalo Bills
Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

The Texans continue to surround young quarterback C.J. Stroud with a stronger supporting cast as the reigning AFC South champions. Will the Colts counter?

The Indianapolis Colts road to reclaiming the AFC South crown may have just gotten a lot tougher, as the reigning divisional champs, the Houston Texans, traded for former Buffalo Bills star wideout Stefon Diggs in a surprising marquee move:

The Texans already reportedly won out against the Colts in signing another former star Minnesota Viking, Danielle Hunter, who had 16.5 total sacks last season, and Diggs is their latest big offseason addition for head coach DeMeco Ryans’ upstart club.

As a Pro Bowler last season for the Bills, Diggs caught 107 receptions for 1,183 receiving yards and 8 touchdown receptions last season. He’s been a 2x NFL All-Pro and 4x NFL Pro Bowler throughout his impressive 9-year pro career.

Now 30 years old, Diggs doesn’t figure to have a ton of peak years left as a pure deep speed wideout, so this definitely screams ‘all-in’ move from the Texans. It highlights what’s clearly been a tale of two different offseason approaches between the Colts and Texans to-date.

The Texans are clearly trying to take advantage of star young quarterback C.J. Stroud’s rookie contract while they can and carry forward the momentum from last year’s divisional round playoff appearance.

Houston doesn’t appear content to just ‘run it back,’ as they’re clearly making their best efforts to surround Stroud with a stronger supporting cast on both sides of the ball with the big Hunter and Diggs additions (*to be fair, the Texans did lose edge rusher Jonathan Greenard in free agency though, who led the team with 12.5 total sacks).

Their standout wide receiver trio of Stefon Diggs, Tank Dell, and Nico Collins is going to be awfully difficult for any secondary to stop when paired with the infamously accurate Stroud. Not to mention, Dalton Schultz and Noah Brown are nice receiving pieces too.

That could be problematic for the Colts, who appear to still have some key needs at both cornerback and safety—even after re-signing cornerback Kenny Moore II and safety Julian Blackmon, although yes, there’s still free agency and the early NFL Draft to potentially address those positional deficiencies.

Meanwhile, the Colts have made a concerted effort to simply re-sign their own internal free agents: Michael Pittman Jr., Grover Stewart, Kenny Moore II, and Julian Blackmon among them and hope that the return of a fully healthy Anthony Richardson at starting quarterback, who suffered a season-ending shoulder injury, can be the difference regarding improving their playoff fortunes.

At the end of last season, not too much separated these two divisional rivals—as the Colts and Texans split their regular season matchups, and Indianapolis, starting a backup quarterback, was arguably a late fourth down drop away from beating the Texans and ultimately winning the AFC South in the season finale by how things ended.

However, it’s a fair question if the Texans have further distanced themselves from the Colts and are now the clear frontunner to win the division again—raising the issue of whether Indianapolis should be doing more to capitalize on Richardson’s rookie contract themselves and by providing him a stronger supporting cast to help win football games.

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Title: Colts’ road to reclaiming AFC South gets tougher with Texans trade for Stefon Diggs
Author: Luke Schultheis

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