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Bills, DT Dareus agree to $108M deal


The Sports Xchange

Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus won’t be in uniform Week 1, but the 25-year-old won’t be leaving the team any time soon.

Dareus sealed his future in Buffalo on Thursday, agreeing to a reported six-year, $108 million contract extension that puts the former first-round pick in the NFL’s elite tax bracket. ESPN was the first to release the value of the deal.

Dareus commented in August that he wasn’t “necessarily looking at Suh numbers,” in the final year of his contract, a reference to Ndamukong Suh’s $114 million contract with the Miami Dolphins. “I just want to be treated right, just like every one of us.”

Dareus’ deal, at least on the surface, has a higher attainable value than Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, whose $100 million deal over six years now makes him the third-highest paid defensive player.

The Bills first offered a six-year extension worth more than $90 million. But Dareus, suspended for off-field conduct for Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts, will earn $8.06 million this season.

The two-time Pro Bowler and the third overall selection in the 2011 draft became frustrated when negotiations stalled and had said he would sign the franchise tag next year if needed.

“If that’s something they consider, there’s not really much I could do,” Dareus said Saturday. “I’ll sign the papers.”

In four seasons with the Bills, Dareus has started 60 of 63 games and has 202 career tackles and 28 1/2 sacks. Last year, Dareus finished with 49 tackles and a career-best 10 sacks in 15 games.

“I made of it that he’s probably in good position, I mean when you see what the numbers were and all that stuff,” Bills coach Rex Ryan said. “I might settle for those numbers, but I’m not sure. I don’t play defensive tackle. But obviously that’s his business and his agents and our team and things like that. I stay out of the negotiating-type stuff, obviously.”

The NFL suspended Dareus without pay for the first game of the regular season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

In April, Dareus appeared pleaded guilty in a Hamburg, N.Y., court to two traffic violations as part of a plea deal after a street racing incident last year. As part of the plea agreement, all other charges were dropped. Dareus had been facing charges of reckless endangerment, reckless driving, unlawful speed and leaving the scene of an accident.

The Bills have the highest-paid defensive line in the NFL with Dareus, defensive end Mario Williams ($100 million contract signed in 2013) and defensive end Jerry Hughes (five-year, $45 million deal in March 2015) and defensive tackle Kyle Williams (six-year, $39 million deal in 2011).

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