Quandre Diggs was enjoying a Tuesday off-day nap with his 3-months old daughter, Ariya Marie, when his phone kept ringing. Eventually Diggs picked up his phone and learned from his agent that he had been traded from the Detroit Lions to the Seattle Seahawks.
"I was taking a nap—me and my daughter were taking a nap—and I just kept getting phone calls," Diggs said Wednesday prior to taking the field for his first practice with the Seahawks. "I got on the phone with my agent, and he was like, 'You're heading to Seattle.' I was like, 'Bro, I'm asleep. What do you mean? It's the off day.'"
A starting safety and a team captain, Diggs had no idea that a trade was coming, so the news that he was joining an NFC contender was both unexpected and exciting.
"It was surprising. I'm super excited, blessed for the opportunity," Diggs said. "At the end of the day, God has a plan for me, and this is his plan. It was crazy, I was spending the day with my daughter and girlfriend, and you get news like that, of course it's major for the family. But it's work, it's part of it, and I'm here now, I'm excited. I'm going to miss my guys in Detroit, but I've got new relationships I've got to build here."
And just as Diggs was surprised to learn he was being traded on Tuesday, the Seahawks were equally surprised to find out that a versatile playmaker of his caliber was available.
"Very much so," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll when asked if he was surprised the Lions made Diggs available. "I didn't think that could be possible. We got concerned with our depth and our issues with a couple guys banged up… So we were looking, and it just happened to pop up just right."
While an in-season trade is always a big adjustment, Diggs said it will help joining a team where there are several familiar faces. Tyler Lockett is a longtime close friend, a connection that Lockett said started because of a friendship between Lockett's uncle, Aaron Lockett, and Diggs' brother, Quentin Jammer. Diggs was teammates with tight end Luke Willson during Willson's one season in Detroit, and he was teammates at Texas with safety Adrian Colbert, a member of Seattle's practice squad who Diggs said "is like a little brother to me."
"It makes it a lot easier," Diggs said of having some connections to Seattle's locker room. "I can come into the locker room and I see familiar faces around. For me, it makes it a lot easier. Tyler was the first person I called as soon as I found the news out. We talked about this before, we've spoken about if we could be teammates. Just having the opportunity to be around these guys—it's a great team here, a great organization. I just like to be around great people with great vibes… It's dope to be around familiar people, people I know I can trust."
Said Lockett, "He's a great guy. I got to experience it first-hand whenever we were training together. The thing about him is work ethic, the way he works. I know that, again, because I worked out with him in Austin before we came up here. I was the University of Texas with him working out, and just the way that he works, the way that he grinds, he really talks the talk. That's the thing you learn when you're around him, he's going to set you straight. He's not going to tell me something that's not true about myself. He's going to tell me the truth about myself, if I'm playing too much, if I'm taking it too personally, whatever the case is. So just to be able to have him here allows you to be able to have another accountability partner, allows you to continue to grow as a player, and he gets a chance to see what this city is all about and how great of fans we've got."
As for how Diggs fits into Seattle's defense, he has the ability to play multiple positions, having served as Detroit's nickel corner early in his career, and starting strong safety in recent years.
"I'm versatile, man," he said. "I play down in the box, I play nickel, I play strong, I play free, play some linebacker, I've played it all. At the end of the day, I just want to lock in, be able to play football and be ready to go."
Carroll said the plan is for Diggs to get familiar with both safety spots in Seattle's defense, and his versatility will be a bonus particularly in the short-term as the Seahawks deal with injuries to both Bradley McDougald and Lano Hill.
"He's an explosive player," Carroll said. "I've watched him for years be the kind of guy that throws his body around as well as you can do it. He's a real hitter and a playmaker. He's played in a lot of situations. He's played nickel. He's played a lot of coverage on key tight ends and key matchups. They've used him in a number of different ways. He's got a big variety of background. I just think he's a unique player. He's one of those guys that I've seen for a long time and liked for a long time. We really feel lucky to get him."
Photos from Wednesday's Seahawks practice at Virginia Mason Athletic Center in preparation for Sunday's Week 8 game against the Atlanta Falcons.