Seizing headlines from Deflategate and Kam Chancellor as this week winds down, Marcell Dareus may have come to grips with the fact that he’ll play for the Bills in 2016, whether it’s on his terms or not.
Dareus now indicates he will sign a franchise tag tender if it comes to that next spring, per Tyler Dunne of the Buffalo News, rather than follow the path of this summer’s tagged superstars.
“If that’s something they consider,” Dareus told Dunne after Bills practice. “There’s not really much I can do. I’ll sign the paper.”
This is a curious concession when comparing this new stance with his pointed comments after the Bills’ second preseason game Thursday night, when the fifth-year defensive tackle brushed aside word of the team’s reported six-year, $90MM offer, and the fact that things mostly worked out for this summer’s franchise-tagged contingent, unless fireworks were involved.
Dareus also backed down from his “Thank you, Suh” comment regarding that offer, which comes in more than $20MM in total dollars less than Ndamukong Suh‘s mega-pact with the Dolphins, according to ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak. Dareus now states he’s “not necessarily looking at Suh numbers, a figure he wouldn’t be able to get unless he somehow reached the market, according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.
Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap examines why pursuing such an outlier contract is similar to Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas going after Calvin Johnson‘s mammoth accord, which also came when the wideout, like his larger ex-Lions teammate, had immense leverage. With the threat of a more reasonably priced franchise tender looming, Dareus does not.
Fitzgerald, nonetheless, expects the Bills to give in despite their significant investment in their defensive front.
The 25-year-old is set to earn $8.06MM this season on his fifth-year option. A 2016 franchise tag would pay him in the neighborhood of $12MM per year, which would slot behind only Suh and Gerald McCoy in terms of 2016 values. The Bills are also set to pay Mario and Kyle Williams $19.9MM and $8MM, respectively, next season.
Richie Incognito sided with Dareus following the DT’s media availability session Saturday, exclaiming “pay the man” as he walked by the media.
A 2014 All-Pro, Dareus acknowledges the tag is a serious possibility but also that his public agitation isn’t going to change the Bills’ mind when it comes to his second contract proposal.
“I want to be a part of the Buffalo Bills. I want to be a part of the history we’re going to make here. But at the same time, it’s a business and we have to go through negotiations just like anybody else in any other career. So we just try to do what we can and move forward,” Dareus said. “People feel certain ways, but at the same time, we’re going to get over that hill. We’re going to make something happen and try to get a deal done.”