The Bills made a move most thought would have waited until the offseason. Buffalo traded former Pro Bowl defensive tackle Marcell Dareus to the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for a sixth round pick in 2018.
"Jacksonville reached out to us today and we thought about it and talked it through as an organization and decided it was a good move for the Bills and a good move for Marcell," said Bills GM Brandon Beane.
Dareus had the highest cap figure on the roster at better than $16M, but over the past two seasons the defensive tackle's play had been uneven at best.
After going to back to back Pro Bowls in 2013 and 2014, Dareus' performance and consistency appeared to tail off.
A pair of league suspensions in 2015 and 2016 for violation of the league's substance abuse policy kept Dareus off the field for a total of five games the past two years.
He most recently made a serious misstep in the 2017 preseason when new head coach Sean McDermott sent him home just prior to the Bills preseason game with Baltimore.
"It was very disappointing," said Beane. "It wasn't a breaking point, but you know, it was frustrating for Sean [McDermott] and I and the organization but at the same time we were still trying to work with the young man and honestly, I thought he did make some strides of late."
Though he claimed he was committed to doing everything he could to help the team win, and his play had improved recently, Dareus' playing time was severely limited through the first six games this season. He was often the defensive tackle seeing the fewest snaps on the field in their rotational scheme.
Ironically, head coach Sean McDermott called Dareus' most recent game against the Buccaneers his best performance of the season.
In Jacksonville he will be reunited with his former head coach in Buffalo, Doug Marrone, who coached him in 2013 and 2014 when he went to two Pro Bowls.