It was somewhat anticipated that with the option to extend DL Marcell Dareus' contract another year that the Bills would do so. With the deadline to exercise that club option fast approaching next month the Bills GM made sure the team extended the Pro Bowl defensive tackle's contract.
Bills GM Doug Whaley confirmed that the club locked up Dareus through the 2015 season.
"We did. We did that this morning," Whaley said. "We're excited about it and we look for great things from him."
NFL clubs had until May 3rd to do so. Players like Dareus, who were taken in the top 10 get a deal equal to their position's transition tag. That means the former number three overall pick in 2011 will be one of the top 10 paid players at the defensive tackle position.
A long term extension is thought to be a priority for the Bills concerning Dareus, so the fifth-year option might be only a bridge to a lengthier agreement. At this point however, Whaley and the personnel department are focused on the 2014 draft, which is two weeks away.
"We'll focus on the draft right now," he said. "Then we'll focus on issues like Marcell (Dareus) and C.J. (Spiller) and establish a pecking order."
Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon assured that the team's ownership transition will not impact long term contract investment decisions by the club.
"The ownership transition has no effect. It is business as usual in every facet of our operation," Brandon said.
Among some of Dareus' draft classmates who have also reportedly had their options picked up include Carolina QB Cam Newton, Cincinnati WR A.J. Green, Arizona CB Patrick Peterson, Dallas OT Tyron Smith and Houston DL J.J. Watt.
Under the rules of the fifth-year option the salary is not guaranteed like the transition or franchise tag once signed. It's guaranteed for injury only, so the team could still cut a player before the 2015 season if they chose.