Buffalo Bills: Was it the right move to trade Marcell Dareus?

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 04: Marcell Dareus
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 04: Marcell Dareus /

Despite the initial shock over the move, trading two-time Pro Bowler Marcell Dareus was the right thing for the Buffalo Bills to do.

It’s a brave new world in Western New York, as Sean McDermott continues to make his presence felt. As reported by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Buffalo Bills have traded Marcell Dareus to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In return, the Bills will receive a conditional 2018 sixth round draft pick. This could turn into a fifth rounder, depending on Dareus’ performance the rest of this season with the Jaguars.

Talking of performance, this is a major reason why McDermott decided to move the 27-year-old. He started three of five games this season for the Bills, but more significantly, only played 34 percent of snaps for the defense.

McDermott became frustrated by Dareus’ attitude, as the defensive tackle showed a lack of enthusiasm and work ethic. There were also ongoing concerns about how he was conducting himself away from the game.

In the end, it didn’t matter how talented the 2011 third overall draft pick was. He was becoming an extremely expensive liability.

In this respect, while fans may be frustrated by how little the Buffalo Bills got for Dareus, the counter will be the financial benefits. As per ESPN’s Mike Rodak, the Bills will save $5.73 million off their 2017 salary cap and $2.375 million off their 2018 salary cap, while the remaining three years will be wiped out.

Still, you can imagine a lot of fans will be concerned the two-time Pro Bowler will now return to form in Jacksonville, where he will be reunited with Doug Marrone. (A perfectly legitimate fear for a fan base used to bad luck.) However, this is all about looking at this situation objectively.

Dareus earned his contract extension in 2015, after four excellent seasons. However, almost as soon as he signed the six-year deal (worth up to $95.1 million with incentives), his productivity and attitude took a downward turn.

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Essentially, the Buffalo Bills parted ways with the 2015-17 edition of Dareus, as opposed to the 2011-14 version. In addition, you know the front office must have had enough of him if, as noted by WGR 550’s Sal Capaccio, they were willing to eat $24 million in dead salary cap space over the next season and a half.

The Birmingham, Alabama native has dealt with a lot of personal trauma in his life and it seems he is still struggling to cope. For that reason, we can all have sympathy on a basic human level.

However, there are only so many times you can make allowances for someone’s behavior, when you are running a business. (As annoying as this sounds for a sport we all love, this is the reality.)

Ultimately, Dareus forced the Buffalo Bills into a position where they could no longer put up with him. Maybe his behavior was a cry for help on some level, but now he will have to rely on somebody else, since the Bills could no longer rely on him.

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A couple of questions for you. First, what was your initial reaction when you heard about the Dareus trade? And second, with some time for reflection, do you agree or disagree with the decision to move him, and why? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.