Buffalo Bills: Marcell Dareus expects 2015 to be his final year in Buffalo


With contract negotiations stalling, Marcell Dareus doesn’t believe he will be back with the Buffalo Bills next season

They say a week is a long time in show business, and there must be some equivalent for the Buffalo Bills. They entered training camp, surrounding by a mood of optimism not seen in Western New York for at least 10 years.

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It didn’t matter that the quarterback position was the de facto weak spot on the team – the one area that could derail the team’s postseason chances. The Bills still felt like they had a roster capable of overriding this aspect.

However, in a matter of weeks, this positive vibe has turned upside down by a barely believable sequence of events. Bills fans could be forgiven for thinking “here we go again!”

The main reason for the recent bad mood hanging over the team is the stunning amount of injuries they have suffered. Where do we start?

What about the running back core, with five players at the position suffering varying degrees of injuries. This includes top back, LeSean McCoy, who hobbled away from practice on Tuesday.

Wide receiver has been barely better. When Chris Hogan was carted off the field against the Cleveland Browns, it meant the Bills were without their top four pass catchers for the remainder of the game.

Aug 20, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown (13) is pressured in the backfield during the first quarter of a preseason game against the Buffalo Bills at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

And let’s not forget the strength of the team, the defense, which recently lost a couple of key depth players to season-ending injuries. On top of this, they are currently missing one of last year’s starting cornerbacks, Leodis McKelvin.

Now, it should be noted that a lot of the injured players are expected to be ready for the home opener against the Indianapolis Colts. However, it doesn’t change the fact that training camp and the preseason games are becoming a source of stress for the Bills and their fans.

Of course, when it rains, it pours. As if to prove this point, Marcell Dareus is effectively saying this will likely be his final season in Buffalo.

The reasoning behind this thinking, is based around negotiations with the Bills organization. According to various reports, the team has offered Dareus a six year contract, worth north of $90 million.

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However, the 2011 third overall draft pick isn’t even remotely impressed with this, comparing it to Ndamukong Suh‘s contract. The defensive tackle signed a six year, $114 million contract to join the Miami Dolphins this past offseason.

Dareus discussed the frustration surrounding his current situation with the media, including Tyler Dunne of The Buffalo News: “They’re making it hard, and it’s just really making me unhappy.”

Somewhat unfairly, the Birmingham, Alabama native has interpreted the offer as a sign that the front office don’t want him around: “I feel like they don’t want me here as bad as I want to be here, as bad as the fans and my team wants me here.

“I feel like they’re saying, ‘Whatever. You come a dime a dozen.”

It is understandable why he would want money similar to Suh, with Dareus arguably performing better over the last two seasons. When asked about what figure he has in mind, the Bills defensive tackle said: “I’ll just say, ‘Thank you, Suh.’”

Unfortunately, this disagreement over money, comes to the very core of what having a salary cap means. The Bills already have a lot of money invested in the team at key positions, including McCoy and Mario Williams.

On top of this, you always have to think ahead to other pending contract negotiations. Never has it been so clear why there is so much parity in the NFL – someone is always going to be unhappy and eventually leave for a better offer elsewhere.

In some respects, the 25-year old is likely posturing to a certain extent, in an attempt to get the Bills to up their offer (which you know they will). Regardless, his words still sound somewhat ominous to fans and teammates alike, saying he’s “paid for this year”.

Overall, Dareus just wants the situation to be resolved: “I really want it to be over but at the same time, it’s going to be over when we’re all happy.

“They’re going to do what they feel is best for them and we’re going to do what’s best for us. Pretty much, that’s all it is.”

Next: Is Ray Rice worth a gamble to the Bills?