"We'll wait and see what the Bills do," Dareus said. "It weighs on me heavily. Heavily. I've got to go out there and really perform and do what I have to do, which I always do—really have fun with it. Whatever the outcome is, is the outcome. However they want to play it is how they play it. I'm excited. I'm excited for the upcoming year."
Dareus will be suspended for the season opener as a result of an off-field incident last year and he said he's ready to move on.
"I'm happy we can finally move forward. It's been hanging over my head for a while," he said. "Just happy we can move forward and I can prepare myself for the season and just happy to be with my friends, my guys, my real family. Just really feeling a lot better right now."
Despite the one-game suspension levied by the league against Dareus on Thursday, the team still hopes to have an extension wrapped up before the start of training camp.
2015 is scheduled to be the last season of Dareus' current contract. He'll make $8.06 million.
Dareus has been suspended by the league for the opener for violating its substance abuse policy, Fox Sports has reported. He released the following statement that confirmed it.
Last year, I made a mistake involving possession of a banned substance. The NFL's discipline for this conduct is part of the drug policy, and I apologize to my family, my teammates, the entire Bills organization and Bills fans that I will miss one game as a result of my mistake. I will work intensely that week and will be extremely happy to contribute to a win in Week 2 for the Bills.
The loss of Dareus is significant, at least for that game. He racked up 48 tackles and 10 sacks a year ago.
Dareus was facing misdemeanor charges for crashing his car into a tree in Buffalo last year. Instead, Dareus will be issued two traffic violations for failing to keep right and imprudent speed.
If Dareus had pleaded guilty to the charges, which included reckless endangerment, Dareus would've faced NFL disciplinary action, but the league is expected to review the plea agreement.
“In the near future,” Whaley said. “He will be priority No. 1 once the dust settles post-draft, maybe even before then, just to get the ball rolling.”
Dareus, 25, has only missed one game in his four-year career with the Bills, recording 202 total tackles, 28.5 sacks, 12 passes defensed and two forced fumbles.
The two-time Pro Bowler is playing in the last year of his rookie contract.
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