Acquiring wide receiver Stefon Diggs from the Buffalo Bills is just the latest move by the Houston Texans to bolster a roster that lost in the divisional round of the playoffs last season.

The Texans acquired the four-time Pro Bowler for draft-pick compensation, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Wednesday, and it marks another move for the organization that has already spent the most guaranteed money this offseason.

Diggs’ time in Buffalo comes to an end for a franchise that had Super Bowl aspirations but peaked in the AFC Championship Game. The Bills have had to make some tough decisions this offseason while trying to remain cap compliant. The exit of Diggs is the latest — marking the end of a fruitful, yet rocky relationship for him with quarterback Josh Allen and the Bills.

The Bills are retooling while trying to keep a championship window open with 27-year-old Allen leading the charge.

The Texans are surrounding reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year C.J. Stroud with playmakers, having also acquired running back Joe Mixon this offseason. The franchise, which entered the league in 2002, has never advanced past the divisional round of the playoffs.

So what does it all mean for the Texans and Bills? Our panel of reporters and analysts answers the biggest questions surrounding the trade:

Why did the Bills trade Diggs, and what does the WR room look like now that he and Gabe Davis are gone?

The wide receiver room looks like it is lacking a No. 1 option. Of the five wide receivers who caught a pass for the Bills in 2023, only one remains: Khalil Shakir. Buffalo acquired Curtis Samuel in free agency this offseason, but there’s no doubt the room is lacking a No. 1 receiver and arguably a No. 2 — Davis signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency — with Samuel more of a versatile player who can be used all over the field.

There’s no doubt Diggs will go down as pivotal in Allen’s development, and the pairing brought tremendous success to the Bills. The rumors that Diggs could be a trade candidate have been around for some time and, although he remained committed to retiring as a Bill before the 2023 season and started the first six games on a historic pace, he turned in some of the lowest statistical games of his career from the middle to end of the year. This included the only seven-game stretch of his career with no touchdowns and a career-high seven drops. Diggs and coach Sean McDermott both insisted that Diggs was healthy and gave different reasons for the lack of production, including opposing teams focusing on locking him down. McDermott also said at the end of the year, “I can’t say in particular why specifically [Diggs’ production dropped]. If I could, we would flip it back that way, right? To the way it started earlier in the year.”

Since the end of the year, the receiver, who is known for his vague tweets, seemed less sure of his future in Buffalo. Amid an offseason roster overhaul, the two sides apparently reached a breaking point. — Alaina Getzenberg

With so many veteran departures in free agency, what does this mean for Allen and the Bills’ championship window?

There’s no way around it, the Bills are resetting this offseason and entering a new era. Six of the team’s eight captains are not on the roster, with only Allen and Von Miller remaining.

The conversation about the Bills’ window started during the 2023 offseason. The reality of having a quarterback like Allen is it will always be open, at least to an extent. This will be a completely new challenge for Buffalo with younger players, like tight end Dalton Kincaid, needing to step up, in addition to whatever wide receiver is likely selected early in the draft. General manager Brandon Beane has never selected a receiver on Day 1 or Day 2, but it’s clear there is work to be done on this roster.

How competitive can this version of the Bills be with a loaded AFC around them? That remains to be seen, given that Allen’s improvement coincided with Diggs’ arrival in Buffalo. Time will tell how Allen will perform without the veteran wide receiver in offensive coordinator Joe Brady’s system. — Getzenberg

Why were the Texans looking to add another receiver, and what does Diggs bring?

Houston already had dynamic wide receivers in Tank Dell or Nico Collins, but it needed more options. Stroud and the offense’s production dipped when injuries came into play. Dell suffered a season-ending leg injury in Week 13, and the offense averaged 17.3 points per game (26th) during the rest of the regular season in comparison to 22.9 (ninth) before.

Adding Diggs elevates the depth and ceiling of the playmakers. Since 2020, Diggs is fourth in yards (5,372) and touchdowns (37) while leading in receptions (445) among all pass-catchers. He’s a No. 1 receiver who commands attention from opposing defenses. — D.J. Bien-Aime

C.J. Stroud gets a true No. 1 receiver, but how will he keep all of his pass-catchers happy in his second season?

Stroud led the league in passing yards per game (274) with Collins, who had less than 1,000 yards receiving in his first two seasons combined, and Dell, a rookie out of Houston. Stroud’s accuracy and leadership will keep everyone on the same page. He had five pass-catchers with more than 400 yards receiving last season, including tight end Dalton Schultz. Stroud also finds various ways to connect with his teammates off the field to keep morale high. — Bien-Aime

What does the trade mean for the Texans’ Nico Collins and Tank Dell, both still on their rookie contracts, for the future?

Dell has three years left before his contract is up, so this is more about Collins, who’s in the last year of his rookie deal. He had a breakout year in 2023, finishing with 1,297 receiving yards (eighth in the NFL) and eight touchdowns. The 2021 third-round pick is 25, and, if he has a repeat of last season, he can command over $20 million. Diggs’ contract runs through 2027, and he is an expensive receiver, so if Collins performs well, is Houston comfortable with two highly paid receivers in the near future? — Bien-Aime

What does this do for the Texans’ expectations for 2024?

It turns them up to a midsummer Houston temperature. General manager Nick Caserio and coach DeMeco Ryans are aggressively attacking this two-year window with Stroud playing under his cheap rookie deal. The Texans could have found comfort in last year’s 10-win season and run it back. Instead, they sent a flare to the sky to put the rest of the league on notice: This is a contender right now. This doesn’t come without risk: Splashy additions Danielle Hunter and Diggs have played a combined 17 seasons and come with big salaries.

That could disrupt chemistry on a young, ascending team. But Diggs has no guaranteed money after 2024, giving the Texans flexibility if things don’t work out. And, make no mistake, Diggs is still a bona fide No. 1 option despite a dip in production last year. With a fresh outlook, a talented young quarterback and a lack of contractual security long term, Diggs should be motivated. — Jeremy Fowler

What does this trade mean for each team’s salary cap situation?

This is a cash-saving move for the Bills … but not a cap-saving move. Diggs’ 2024 cap number would have been $27.854 million if he had stayed on the team, but trading him means the Bills will carry a dead-money charge of $31.096 million for Diggs this season. Per ESPN Stats & Information research, that will be the highest-known dead-money charge for a wide receiver in any season all time. (If Buffalo had waited until after June 1 to execute the trade, it could have taken a dead-money hit of $8.849 million this season and the remaining $22.247 million next year.)

However, the Bills’ cash budget will be free of the $18.5 million in fully guaranteed salary that Diggs is owed this season. They were already pretty much right up against the cap before this move, so it doesn’t free up any cap space for other moves.

As for the Texans, they’ll take on a $19.005 million cap hit for Diggs ($18.5 million in salary and another $505,000 in bonuses) for 2024. That would eat up just about all of their current cap space, so it’s possible they could rework Diggs’ contract to convert some of that salary into a signing bonus and save cap room in 2024 if needed. If they don’t, they could get out of the Diggs deal very easily after one season. The only guaranteed money Diggs has left on his deal after 2024 is a $3.5 million injury-only guarantee for 2025. If the Texans were to keep Diggs on his current contract beyond this season, they’d owe him $18.505 million in salary and bonuses in 2025, $19,597,941 in 2026 and an even $18 million in 2027. — Dan Graziano

Are the Bills definitely taking a receiver in the first round now, and who could fit?

Even before the blockbuster trade, the Bills were likely going to take advantage of this year’s deep WR class. They lost Davis in free agency and have Shakir and Samuel as their top two targets. But the need is now urgent, and yes, addressing that hole right away in Round 1 makes sense. Buffalo can certainly stick at No. 28 overall — or it can be aggressive and trade up for a particular wideout it covets. I have 11 receivers in my top 50 right now, so Buffalo will have options.

LSU’s Brian Thomas Jr. fits really well here. His downfield ability matches Allen’s strengths perfectly. Ten of his FBS-leading 17 receiving touchdowns last season came on vertical routes. Thomas has great hands and tracks the ball well in the air, and he showed his speed with a 4.33-second run in the 40-yard dash at the combine. — Jordan Reid


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