Jaguars decline 2020 option on DT Dareus

Field Level Media

February 25, 2020 at 8:14 pm.

Though the Jacksonville Jaguars still “have interest” in defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, they declined Tuesday to pick up his option year for 2020.

Speaking to reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine, Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell said that picking up the $19 million option wasn’t really in the works on a contract Dareus signed last year. With that deal, Dareus would have received a base salary of $9.5 million in 2020 with a $10 million roster bonus due on March 22.

“To be honest with you, when we did the deal last year we knew he’d have to have a well-above — we knew it’d be a long shot,” Caldwell said. “And it was really (two years) just to prorate some of the signing bonus that we did last year for him. But he would still be a guy that we would have interest in bringing back at some point in time.”

The deadline for the Jaguars to exercise the option on the second season of his two-year, $28.085 million contract was Tuesday. The move clears $20 million under Jacksonville’s salary cap.

Dareus, who turns 30 next month, played only six games in 2019 before landing on injured reserve on Oct. 25. He underwent core muscle surgery and finished the year with 13 tackles and a half-sack.

The two-time Pro Bowl selection (2013, 2014) has 365 tackles and 37.5 sacks in 121 games (107 starts) with the Buffalo Bills (2011-17) and Jaguars (2017-19).

Buffalo drafted Dareus in the first round (third overall) in 2011 and traded him to Jacksonville on Oct. 28, 2017, for a 2018 sixth-round draft pick.