When he’s on top of his game, Dareus is one of the league’s better interior defenders, especially against the run. But he’s been arrested, suspended multiple times, failed to condition properly, and — just last month — was sent home following Buffalo’s third preseason game following a violation of a team rule. When asked recently if Dareus was part of the Bills’ future, general manager Brandon Beane was non-committal.
“I don’t know,” said Beane. “Time will tell. It was disappointing, as I said, after that game. He was contrite yesterday and said the right things. Actions speak louder than words. Time will tell. Hopefully, he is. We hope he’ll play to his potential. We know what kind of player he can be. We hope to see that on the field.”
Dareus’ six-year, $95.1MM contract extension — arranged by Buffalo’s prior regime — is arguably the most player-friendly deal in the NFL, making it extremely difficult for the Bills to trade or release Dareus. Because he’s due $7.35MM in guaranteed 2018 salary, Dareus isn’t going to be an attractive trade candidate. And Buffalo could only clear cap space next season by designating Dareus a post-June 1 cut — even then, the club would take on nearly $14MM in dead money while clearing just ~$2.5MM.
The Bills, lead by Beane and fellow new decision-maker Sean McDermott, haven’t been afraid to deal players that were selected by the team’s former front office. Thus far, they’ve trade wide receiver Sammy Watkins and cornerback Ronald Darby, acquiring draft picks in addition to veterans E.J. Gaines and Jordan Matthews.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.