ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Despite being suspended for the upcoming regular-season opener, Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus is still in prime position to receive the biggest payday of his young career from the team that drafted him third overall in 2011.
Dareus, who enters the final season of his rookie deal, is waiting for the Bills to make the next move in negotiations toward a contract extension.
"We're just waiting to see what the Bills do," he said Wednesday. "Oh, man it weighs on me heavily. I've got to go out here and really perform and do what I have to do, which I always do -- I just really have fun with it. Whatever the outcome is, that's the outcome. However they want to play it is how they play it."
After appearing in back-to-back Pro Bowls, Dareus has emerged as one of the NFL's best defensive tackles. The Miami Dolphins' six-year, $114 million deal with Ndamukong Suh this offseason concerns the Bills -- general manager Doug Whaley admitted as much in March -- but could set the table for a lucrative new contract for Dareus.
"Just turn on the tape. Turn on the tape. It speaks for itself," Dareus said. "[Those are] great guys, they play hard, I play hard and I'm pretty sure there's hundreds of other guys who play hard as well. I mean, what they got, that's not mine. I can't count what I don't have. I'm just really going to sit back, play my game, have fun and whatever the outcome is, is the outcome."
The problem for the Bills will be squeezing a monster deal with Dareus under their 2016 salary cap. The team already has about a $143 million cap number next season, third-highest in the NFL. With the 2016 salary projected expected to be around $150 million, the Bills will have to shuffle their finances to accommodate Dareus.