Buffalo Bills training camp will begin in roughly two months, and if the team is going to make good on its hope of re-signing defensive tackle Marcell Dareus prior to that date, they'll need to work quickly. The two sides in the negotiation began their posturing on the matter on Wednesday, during the second day of OTAs.
Bills GM Doug Whaley told the Associated Press that the team has already held preliminary contract talks with Dareus' representation about a long-term deal, while echoing previous commentary that re-signing Dareus is now the team's top priority. Standard fare for a personnel man in his position.
Dareus, meanwhile, told reporters that he and his agent are "just waiting to see what the Bills do," and that he is focused on playing out the season and controlling what he can control (via ESPN). Standard fare for a player in his position.
The fifth-year defensive tackle out of Alabama is coming off of back-to-back Pro Bowl bids as well as his first selection as an All-Pro (first team). In his four seasons to date, Dareus has accumulated 201 tackles (139 solo), 28.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles while emerging as one of the league's better run-defending interior linemen. Still just 25 years old, Dareus could command a contract in the neighborhood of the massive deal signed by Ndamukong Suh in Miami if allowed to hit the open market next spring.
Let the countdown to training camp begin. In the meantime, check out this Spotrac projection of what Dareus' new deal could look like; is $15.5 million per season and $36.47 million guaranteed too rich for Dareus?