Whaley referred to Dareus as the team’s “top priority” this summer and intends to meet with Bills chief negotiator Jim Overdorf Wednesday in an attempt to speed up contract negotiations.
Dareus told reporters on Wednesday that he’s waiting on the Bills to advance contract talks, per Mike Rodak. Dareus added that this situation has weighed on him.
Dareus made it clear that he’s confident that he’s earned a new contract, saying: “Turn on the tape. It speaks for itself.”
It’s worth mentioning that Dareus will be suspended for the first game of the season for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. This will ultimately cost him $474,118 in base salary for the 2015 season.
The Bills decided to pick up his fifth-year option, which will pay him a salary of $8.06 million for the 2015 season.
Dareus, 25, is a former No. 3 overall pick and would be among the most sought-after players in next year’s free agent market if the two sides don’t have an agreement in place before then.
Last year, Dareus appeared in 15 games and recorded 49 total tackles, one forced fumble, and a career high of nine sacks. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 4 defensive tackle out of 81 qualifying players.