Quandre Diggs' 2021 season ended on a down note, with the Pro-Bowl safety being carted off the field with a dislocated ankle and broken fibula in the fourth quarter of the final game of the season.
Fortunately for Diggs and the Seahawks, however, that moment will not be his last in a Seahawks uniform, with Diggs re-signing with Seattle on Thursday after the two sides agreed to a three-year deal earlier in the week before Diggs became a free agent at the start of the new league year.
"This is the place where I really wanted to be," Diggs said. "This is the place that took a chance on me coming from Detroit and believed in me while I was hurt, and gave the opportunity to rest up and come back. I feel like I paid them back, and now we're mutually paying each other back, which is very dope."
Signing Diggs to a multi-year deal before he became one of the top free agents on the market is big for a Seahawks defense that has seen Diggs emerge as one of the team's top playmakers and leaders ever since he arrived via a trade with Detroit midway through the 2019 season. The Seahawks acquired Diggs, as well as a seventh-round pick, for the bargain price of a fifth-round pick back in 2019, and in the two-plus seasons since arriving, he has led the team interceptions over that span with 13 in 38 games, recorded 158 tackles, including a career-high 94 last season, while also providing leadership on the back end of the defense. Diggs is one of only two safeties in the NFL, along with Denver's Justin Simmons, to record five interceptions in each of the past two seasons, and those two are tied for most interceptions among safeties over the past two seasons with 10.
"He's been a really steady force," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said after Diggs earned Pro-Bowl honors for the second straight season. "He's been obvious. His hitting, his alley play in the running game, it's really as good as it gets, and he's a real ball hawk… He's just a really complete football player, and he's a very important leader, the guy back there calling the shots and directing traffic and all that, so he's doing everything."
When Diggs went down with a leg injury late in what could have been his final game as a Seahawk, the reaction of his teammates, who were visibly shaken, demonstrated just how much he means to the team, a point that was further driven home by Tyler Lockett's decision to stay back in Arizona with Diggs rather than fly back with the team, then accompany Diggs to Green Bay for the surgery. And fortunately for Diggs, the injury, while significant, was not one that will affect his availability in 2022, and as a result it didn't keep him from getting the multi-year payday he had earned with his play over the past three seasons in Seattle.
"I've been through injuries before, I've been through offseason rehabs before, so for me it's just another obstacle that I'll push through and get through and come back better," Diggs said earlier this offseason. "I've got a broken bone; it's not like I tore an ACL or Achilles or anything. I've got a broken leg, and with my ankle it's just the same as if I would have had ankle surgery—guys get ankle surgery every offseason. It's just one of those things, a four to five-month recovery where, by the time training camp rolls around, I'll be 100 percent ready to go."
Said Carroll, "He's an awesome part of our team, and we'd love to have him with us. This injury is not going to be one that's going to keep him from playing, so we've just got to go through it. It's unfortunate it's a very difficult offseason for him for those first three or four months and all of that, but he'll get back and get going, and we'd love to have him with us."
This week, Diggs and the Seahawks were able to get a deal done that will indeed keep a key piece of the defense in Seattle.