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Marcell Dareus contract: Bills have fifth-year option in 2014

Marcell Dareus is currently playing under a four-year rookie contract, but the Buffalo Bills now have the option to pick up a fifth year thanks to the 2011 CBA.

Al Messerschmidt
Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

When Marcell Dareus was made the third overall pick by the Buffalo Bills in the 2011 NFL Draft, he signed a fully guaranteed, four-year deal worth $20.4 million. There was one stipulation in that contract to extend it at the discretion of the team and it seems this offseason is the time, according to Jay Skurski of The Buffalo News.

Per Skurski, by the Bills exercising the option, they'd be agreeing to pay Dareus roughly $7 million. They have until May 3, five days before the start of the 2014 NFL Draft, to make the decision. The fifth-year option is built into the contracts of every first-round draft pick made since the 2011 CBA went into effect, meaning that the Bills will need to make this same decision for Stephon Gilmore and EJ Manuel in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

This deadline could also serve as a catalyst to get a long-term deal done if the Bills don't want to pay him that much money. For reference, Kyle Williams signed a six-year, $33.6 million extension in 2011, on average well below that $7 million figure for one season.

Complicating matters in the Dareus extension is the three-year veteran's tendency to oversleep. He was benched for the first quarter in the penultimate game of Buffalo's 2013 season and the first half of the final game for repeated tardiness, including being late for a meeting just one day after the initial benching. It's not exactly in line with rewarding accountability if Dareus gets a massive extension this offseason. For now, the Bills have a one-year contract extension on the table that doesn't need to be negotiated.