Marcell Dareus

Marcell Dareus Facing Second Lawsuit

On Wednesday night, we learned that Jaguars defensive tackle Marcell Dareus is being sued by a Texas woman who is accusing him of sexual assault and the transmission of an STD. In addition to that, Dareus is also being sued for a separate incident in January of 2017, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times writes. 

Dareus rented a mansion in Florida on the week of the college football national championship game. The defensive tackle invited the accuser to an afterparty at his place, where she alleges that he groped her against her wishes. The woman says she “blacked out” from drinking and woke up next to an unclothed Dareus. Realizing that there had been “sexual physical acts upon her person,” she left to go back to her hotel.

No criminal charges were filed after the alleged event and the accuser says that she initially kept the details of the incident private, “due to embarrassment and self-guilt.” In a court date on August 9, Dareus will move to have the lawsuit dismissed.

Regardless of how either case turns out, Dareus could be subject to NFL discipline following an investigation from the league office. The league’s conduct policy calls for a baseline six-game ban for sexual assault offenses.

Dareus, 28, came to the Jaguars in a midseason trade from the Bills. Dareus wound up playing in nine regular season games for the Jags as well as their three-game playoff run. Overall, Dareus graded out as the No. 51 ranked defensive tackle in the NFL last year, according to Pro Football Focus. It wasn’t his best season, but the Jaguars were hopeful that Dareus could get back to his old form this year. In 2014, he managed ten sacks from the interior.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Marcell Dareus Sued For Sexual Assualt

An unidentified Texas woman is suing Jaguars defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, accusing him of both sexual assault and the transmission of a sexually transmitted disease, reports Chris Parenteau of News 4 Jacksonville.

The anonymous claims Dareus had sex with her after she had fallen asleep, and is now seeking $15K in damages. Thus far, it’s unclear whether any criminal suit has been brought against Dareus, but the Jacksonville defender’s attorney said his client isn’t aware of any current pending charges.

Dareus, whom the Jaguars acquired from the Bills just prior to the 2017 trade deadline, has been involved in off-field trouble before, but his violations have mostly been related to substance abuse. Legal resolution aside, Dareus could serve a league-imposed suspension based on the outcome of a sure-to-come NFL investigation. Policy standards indicate a baseline six-game suspension for a sexual assault incident, but the bans for such offenses have varied in length.

Jacksonville sent a fifth-round pick to Buffalo in exchange for the now 28-year-old Dareus, who went to play nine games for the club during the regular season and three contests during the Jaguars’ postseason run to the AFC Championship Game. $7.35MM of Dareus’ 2018 base salary is fully guaranteed, meaning he’ll collect that money whether he’s on Jacksonville’s roster or not. The same is true of that total on the Jaguars’ salary cap, although the club would realize a net savings of $2.825MM if the results of a future investigation lead to a release.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Bridgewater, Pats, Dareus

Teddy Bridgewater has looked very good in OTAs, per Rich Cimini of ESPN.com, and if his strong performance continues, the Jets could be faced with a difficult decision. They could trade Bridgewater — which was the plan when they signed him — or they could name him their starting QB for at least the beginning of 2018 while they continue to groom Sam Darnold. Starting Bridgewater would likely mean keeping three quarterbacks on the roster, as the nearly 39-year-old Josh McCown doesn’t really have any trade value. But head coach Todd Bowles, who is coaching for his job this year, will want to start the best quarterback he has, and he is a big believer in Bridgewater.

Let’s take a look at a few more rumors and notes from the AFC:

  • Cimini also details Christian Hackenberg‘s last few months with the Jets before he was shipped to the Raiders. We already knew that Bowles was not aware Hackenberg changed his throwing motion until after the fact, but Hackenberg first approached Jets QB coach Jeremy Bates about making the change, and Bates was skeptical. That caused some friction between the two men, and it forced Hackneberg to go outside the organization to seek help with his mechanics.
  • Ben Volin of the Boston Globe points out how Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady continue to (needlessly) fan the flames of controversy that owner Robert Kraft keeps trying to extinguish, and that the apparent tension between Belichick and Brady may be one of the reasons why Brady has not attended spring practices. However, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com says Brady’s absence has not created as big of a leadership void as one might expect, as younger players are taking a more active role in that regard and veteran players like Julian Edelman and Dont’a Hightower are back after their 2017 season was marred by injury.
  • The Broncos released C.J. Anderson last month, leaving Devontae Booker and De’Angelo Henderson as the top candidates to become the team’s next No. 1 RB. However, Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post says Royce Freeman, whom the team selected in the third round of last month’s draft, has the durability and history of production to suggest he can be an every-down back at the next level, and he will get a chance to make a major impact right away. His heavy collegiate workload could have contributed to his falling to the third round.
  • Marcell Dareus more than wore out his welcome in Buffalo, leading the Bills to ship him to the Jaguars before last year’s trade deadline. Dareus, though, found new life in Jacksonville, and per Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk (citing Mike Kaye of First Coast News), Dareus continues to be a good soldier for the Jags. Head coach Doug Marrone said, “I’m very happy with the way he’s worked, the way he has come into camp. I think those are things he has done a much better job of than what maybe he had done in the past. I can appreciate that and see that in him.” That is not an insignificant statement, as Dareus’ effort in Buffalo seemed to evaporate after he signed his big-money extension, so perhaps he has matured and will continue to be a solid contributor to Jacksonville’s talented defensive front. Marrone, of course, was also Dareus’ coach in Buffalo during Dareus’ best two seasons to date (2013-14), so he has a pretty good reference point.

East Rumors: Giants, Jets, Bills, Flores

Here’s the latest out of the East divisions, with six of these teams early in their offseasons and two preparing for divisional-round games while grappling with possible coaching staff defections.

  • A Josh McDaniels/Giants union is at least a possibility, with Dave Gettleman and Co. interviewing the Patriots’ OC this week. But ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano does not foresee this hire happening, viewing McDaniels as likely to end up elsewhere and noting both he and the Giants might not be each other’s first choices (Twitter links). McDaniels has met with the Giants, Colts and Bears. Graziano speculates (via Twitter) the Colts are the likely frontrunners.
  • Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Demario Davis look to be in the Jets‘ plans prior to free agency opening. The team has held discussions with Seferian-Jenkins about a re-up, Newsday’s Calvin Watkins notes, and wants to retain Davis. A Jet in five of his six NFL seasons, the soon-to-be 29-year-old linebacker could be in line for a significant pay bump come March after finishing the season as the NFL’s No. 8 linebacker, per Pro Football Focus. Davis, whom Watkins notes wouldn’t mind testing the market, took a pay cut prior to the 2017 season and earned just $900K in base salary. ASJ changed representation going into his UFA year. He caught a career-high 50 passes and gave the Jets a viable tight end weapon for the first time in years.
  • The Jaguars making the playoffs will slightly alter their trade for Marcell Dareus. The Bills received a conditional 2018 sixth-round pick for Dareus in the parties’ October trade, but now that the Jags ventured to the postseason, that pick will become a fifth-rounder, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
  • Should Matt Patricia be hired as Lions HC as expected, the Patriots will likely promote linebackers coach Brian Flores to defensive coordinator, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes. Flores drew interest as a DC candidate last year, per Reiss, and was mentioned in a 49ers search that ended with Robert Saleh getting the job. The 36-year-old Flores, who interviewed for the Cardinals’ HC job on Saturday, has been with the Patriots since 2004 and has been a position coach since 2012.
  • The Giants have not hired a GM that didn’t have ties to the team since George Young in 1979, and Tom Rock of Newsday notes Kevin Abrams may be in line to succeed Dave Gettleman down the line. The newly hired general manager is 66 years old and kept the 46-year-old Abrams on as assistant GM while firing another Giants GM interviewee in Marc Ross. Abrams has been the Giants’ assistant GM for the past 16 seasons, serving in this post now through three GMs’ tenures. The longtime exec has been sitting in on the franchise’s HC interviews this time as well.

Trade Notes: Garoppolo, Benjamin, Dareus

With the trade deadline behind us, NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero provided some insight into the completed deals. Notably, the writer discussed the 49ersPatriots trade involving quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. While he initially opined that New England should have gotten a bigger return for the signal-caller, he started to see the logic after talking to league executives.

As Pelissero explains, the team surely would have gotten a lesser return had they franchised Garoppolo and then traded him. Alternatively, had the quarterback departed via free agency, the team would have simply acquired a compensatory pick in the third round.

“They kept the insurance policy,” said an NFL executive. “The risk was greater back in April. It’s less now. And it’s also the deadline. This was their last chance to get the best that they can. … Now, they’re halfway through the season. They know they’re going to lose the player. If they lose the player, even if it’s one of the most outrageous contracts in history, the best they can get is a compensatory third.”

Of course, these executives also touted the 49ers for prying the young quarterback away from New England.

“I give credit to San Francisco,” said one GM, “because in the offseason, four or five teams called (the Patriots) and they said, ‘Absolutely not. No way.’ “

Let’s take a look at some more notes from Pelissero regarding the trade deadline…

  • The Chargers had been shopping wideout Dontrelle Inman since training camp, but they couldn’t find a partner before completing a deal with the Bears.
  • The Marcell Dareus trade was simply a cap dump, with Pelissero noting that the defensive tackle had worn out his welcome among Bills teammates and the coaching staff. However, the Jaguars were seemingly willing to take the risk since his former coach, Doug Marrone, “could vouch for him.”
  • Interim GM Marty Hurney only talked to the Bills before dealing wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin. The Panthers were looking to get more speed on the field, and they weren’t planning on extending Benjamin.
  • A.J. McCarron‘s future will depend on a pending grievance regarding his free agency status. The Bengals backup quarterback is arguing that he should be an unrestricted free agent, but time spent on the NFI list could earn him the restricted tag. Cincinnati had a deal in place with the Browns for the quarterback, but the trade was rejected by the NFL.

Jaguars Release Jonathan Freeny

Marcell Dareus passed his Jaguars physical, making the Bills-Jags trade official, per Adam Schefter of ESPN (on Twitter). In sending only a draft pick Buffalo’s way, Jacksonville needed to clear a roster spot to make room for the defensive tackle.

The Jags did so by cutting Jonathan Freeny, per Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union (on Twitter). Freeny spent less than a week with the Jaguars, signing with the team earlier this week after playing three games with the Ravens this season.

The 28-year-old linebacker’s most known for being an 11-game starter with the Patriots from 2015-16, collecting a ring last season. The Ravens cut Freeny last week, and the sixth-year defender worked out for the Jags on Monday.

Freeny is not subject to waivers since he’s a vested veteran. Although, had the Jaguars made this move after the trade deadline in three days, Freeny would have been subject to waivers.

Jags executive VP Tom Coughlin described Dareus as an experienced player who’s been “productive throughout his career” and a talent who will help the Jags “immediately” (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Reactions To Marcell Dareus Trade

The Bills traded defensive tackle Marcell Dareus to the Jaguars yesterday for a 2018 sixth-round pick (which could ultimately turn into a fifth-rounder). The player’s contract was much too expensive for the Bills to tolerate, and most pundits were impressed with the team’s ability to shed the money. We’ve compiled the majority of those reactions below…

  • Bills general manager Brandon Beane referred to Dareus as a question mark, citing the player’s high salary and previous suspensions.“He’s not a bad person at the end of the day,” Beane said (via ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak). “I wish him the best, and I know Sean [McDermott] does and the whole organization does… I give Marcell [Dareus] a lot of credit. I thought he made huge strides as of late. But we thought this was a good move for us going forward. But it is also a fresh start for him.”
  • According to Joe Buscaglia of WKBW in Buffalo (via Twitter), Beane wasn’t actively shopping Dareus. Instead, the general manager claimed that the Jaguars had reached out to the Bills. Ultimately, Buffalo decided it was a good deal for the organization and pulled the trigger.
  • More from Beane (via Buscaglia on Twitter): “Anytime you pay a guy double digit APY’s, you have to make sure they fit your team as a player and a person…He’s definitely a guy we would have talked about after the season, ‘How does he fit, moving forward.'”
  • Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com refers to the trade as a “cap savings bonanza” for the Bills, noting that the organization has done an admirable job of fixing their “broken salary cap.” While the team will be stuck with $14.2MM in dead money next season, this scenario is more appealing than cutting him following the current campaign. Meanwhile, the Jaguars had more financial flexibility, allowing them to inherit most of the contract without compromising their future.

Jaguars To Acquire DT Marcell Dareus

The Jaguars have agreed to acquire defensive tackle Marcell Dareus from the Bills, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Buffalo will receive a 2018 sixth-round pick that change to a fifth-round pick based if Dareus sticks on Jacksonville’s roster for the rest of the season and the Jaguars make the playoffs, per Schefter and Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter links).Marcell Dareus

Dareus had long been thought to be available on the trade market, as the new Buffalo regime — including general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott — didn’t believe Dareus’ immense talent was worth his reported motivational lapses. Indeed, the Bills attempted to trade Dareus this offseason, but weren’t able to find a match.

The inability to Dareus until this point was likely due to his massive contract, a six-year, $95.1MM extension that he inked in 2015. It’s incredibly surprising the Bills were able to convince the Jaguars to take on the remaining portions of Dareus’ deal, which includes the rest of his guaranteed $9.75MM base salary this season and a $7.35MM guarantee in 2018. Dareus is also set to earn non-guaranteed base salaries of $8.335MM, $12.335MM, and $12.4MM from 2019-21, with $2MM available in roster bonuses during those three seasons.

Jacksonville can afford Dareus’ contract in 2017, as it still has more than $37MM in reserves, but his 2018 salary will eat into the club’s $13MM worth of cap space next season. Buffalo, meanwhile, is relieving itself of a hefty financial obligation, but will still be forced to eat part of Dareus’ deal. The rest of his prorated bonus money — $14.2MM in total — will accelerate onto the Bills’ salary cap in 2018.

Dareus, who now reunites with former Bills/current Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone, will join an already stacked defense that leads the league in DVOA. While the unit is excellent, it does rank dead last in run defense DVOA, an area Dareus should help improve. Jacksonville now fields a defensive line that includes Calais Campbell, Yannick NgakoueMalik Jackson, and Dante Fowler Jr.

Dareus, 27, clearly has immense talent, as evidenced both by his draft pedigree (No. 3 overall in 2011) and his prior NFL production, so if Marrone and the rest of Jacksonville’s staff can motivate him, Dareus could prove to be steal. He’s only played 138 defensive snaps on the season, but Dareus has graded as the NFL’s No. 37 interior defender, per Pro Football Focus. The Alabama product is three years removed from his best overall year, a 2014 campaign which saw him manage 10 sacks from the defensive tackle position.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bills Tried To Trade Marcell Dareus This Offseason

The Bills (unsurprisingly) tried to trade DT Marcell Dareus this offseason, but they (unsurprisingly) received little interest, as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes. Dareus is not far removed from being one of the top interior defenders in the game, which is why the Bills signed him to a six-year, $95.1MM extension in 2015. But he has not been the same player since then, and he has been arrested, suspended multiple times, he has failed to condition properly, and he was sent home following Buffalo’s third preseason game this year following a violation of a team rule.

Marcell Dareus

In light of all of that, it is little wonder that Buffalo was unable to find any takers. Making matters worse is the fact that, in addition to his on-field mediocrity and off-field struggles, his contract is exceedingly player-friendly. He is due $7.35MM in guaranteed 2018 salary, and his former promise will not be enough to induce a team to take on his deal. As La Canfora points out, the Bills could absorb the cap penalties they would incur by trading Dareus, but they do not anticipate any team will express interest in acquiring him prior to next week’s trade deadline (though he does remain on the market).

Instead, La Canfora reports that the Bills are likely to cut Dareus in 2018 with a post-June 1 designation, which will allow them to spread out the massive cap hit over two seasons. Even by doing that, however, the club would take on nearly $14MM in dead money while clearing just ~$2.5MM.

Dareus has not played horribly this season, but he is not doing much to change the league’s perception of him. His effort remains spotty, and he has graded out as the 36th-best D-lineman out of 121 qualified players, per Pro Football Focus.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Bills DT Marcell Dareus

Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus is facing a “make-or-break” 2017 season with the Bills, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.Marcell Dareus

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.