That team is the Jacksonville Jaguars, whom Buffalo dealt the veteran defensive tackle to on Friday night, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported. In return, the Bills are receiving a sixth round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft that could escalate to a fifth-rounder. The move reunited Dareus with Doug Marrone, who was his head coach for two seasons in Buffalo.
Per Mike Rodak of ESPN, the Bills will save a combined $8.11 million on their salary cap over the next two years as a result of the move.
In exchange for Marcell Dareus, Buffalo is receiving 2018 sixth-round pick that can go to fifth-round pick based on performance, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 27, 2017
Buffalo Bills Trade Marcell Dareus to Jacksonville Jaguars
There’s no doubting Dareus’ talent. The seventh-year pro out of Alabama already has two Pro Bowls to his resume. He also made the Pro Football Writers of America all-Rookie team in 2011 after the Bills drafted him third overall.
But off-the-field issues have been a major issue for Dareus throughout his pro career. In May of 2014, he was arrested in his native Alabama for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. A month later, police in Hamburg, NY arrested Dareus in connection with a drag race that resulted in an accident.
Neither those two incidents nor Dareus receiving a one-game suspension for his first violation of the league’s substance abuse policy prevented Buffalo from giving him a big-money free agent deal. It came in September 2015 when they signed Dareus to a six-year, $95.1 million contract that contained the most guaranteed money in NFL history at the time for a non-quarterback.
Dareus’ play took a downward turn that season. After finishing with no more than 5.5 sacks over the first four years of his career, he finished with a combined 5.5 the next two years. It included playing just eight games in 2016, four of which he missed due to his second substance abuse related suspension.
During the 2017 preseason, it all came to a head with Sean McDermott and the new coaching staff. Ahead of the team’s third preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens, the Bills sent Dareus home for violating team rules. It later became known that he missed the team buses taking the Bills from their hotel to M&T Bank Stadium for the game.
Cutting Dareus was a virtual impossibility given the massive dead cap hit the Bills would take. And so the next most logical step was a trade with a team in need of a boost on their defensive interior. With the Jaguars needing to bolster a run defense ranked 30th in the league, Dareus is an intriguing piece if he stays out of trouble. Meanwhile, the Bills get a massive salary off their books while continuing to stockpile draft picks.