Jacksonville and, just like that, Marcell Dareus was gone.
The Bills traded the ultra-talented and often troubled defensive tackle to the Jaguars for a 6th round pick Friday night.
Dareus re-joins the head coach that was at the helm when the Bills defensive line was at their best: Doug Marrone.
Bills GM Brandon Beane said via a conference call that he had not been actively shopping Dareus. The Jags reached out to the Bills on Friday and the deal was done in the same day.
Dareus never seemed a fit for the Sean McDermott culture. He was sent home from Baltimore before a Bills preseason game there in August.
That incident wasn’t the proverbial final straw, but it certainly didn’t help.
“It was very disappointing. It wasn’t a breaking point, but it was frustrating for Sean [McDermott] and I and the organization,” Beane said. “At the same time, we were still trying to work with the young man and honestly, I thought he did make some strides of late.”
Beane admitted he and McDermott thought Dareus was a questionable fit for the team they wanted from the start. “But, he’s not a bad person,” Beane said.
Dareus, 27, was the number 3 overall pick in the 2011 draft. He is also a two-time Pro Bowler.
He played more than 50% of the Bills defensive snaps for the first time all season in Buffalo’s last game against Tampa Bay. Beane said he had been making “huge strides” of late.
The deal leaves the Bills on the hook for a sizable amount of dead money against the cap. Essentially, they’ll still be paying Dareus approximately $11 million dollars this year and $14 million next year not to play for the team.
However, that’s still a saving against the more the $16 million he was expected to account for if were still on the team each of the next two seasons.
The Bills have more players on the roster (over 70%) signed in 2017 than any other team in the league.
Despite appearances to the contrary, Beane and McDermott aren’t simply trying to purge the organization of anyone in Buffalo before they arrived.
“Sean and I aren’t in to just getting our guys on this team and getting rid of people who are not. We’re honestly making every decision on what we think helps the Bills today and tomorrow,” Beane said.
Beane also briefly addressed the Anquan Boldin situation. Beane has not personally spoken with Boldin and there has been no discussion about a return to the Bills.
Apparently, Boldin wants to play for a team closer to his home in Florida.
“If we can find something that’s a win-win, we will do it but other than that, no, I don’t expect anything to happen,” Beane said.