Marcell Dareus is still trying to process the fact he’s no longer with the Bills.
After being traded to the Jaguars Friday for a sixth-round pick, the former No. 3 overall selection is clearly struggling with what has happened to him.
“I still haven’t gotten over it yet,” Dareus said, via Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. “I’m still in shock. I’m shocked for a trade. I’m shocked that this defense, this team … I’m still just taking it all in. It’s three days, man. Three days.”
Dareus spoke several times of being shocked and overwhelmed and emotional, after participating in his first practice with his new team. He admitted he had a hunch something might happen last week, but the reality of friends stopping to see him and saying goodbye drove home the reality he was leaving the team which chose him in 2011.
“Little overwhelming,” Dareus said. “Kind of saw some things happening but at the same time I was getting prepared for the game and we had a game plan in and I was practicing all week and I’m just zoned in, trying to keep negativity out. And when I got the call and things happened the way it did, I can’t lie it did make me a little emotional because I know [Saturday] it is a one-way ticket [to Jacksonville].
“… It was so swift that before I knew it I was already in Charlotte [for a connecting flight] and by the time I got to Charlotte, a blink of the eye and I’m here in Jacksonville saying hey to the coaches, the biggest cocktail party in the world [the annual Georgia-Florida game at Everbank Field], and with all that going on it was just — the world is spinning. Traded, on the plane, cocktail party, going to the stadium, saying hello, getting out, going to the hotel room laying on the bed looking at the roof: What is going on?”
Now he’s found someone who wants him, and back with some familiar faces, as Jaguars coach Doug Marrone was his head coach in Buffalo for two years. But that only goes so far, even though he had perhaps his two best seasons then (17.5 sacks and two Pro Bowls). He was also a regular in terms of off-field distractions, from being benched for being late to meetings to a pair of substance abuse policy violations and a couple of arrests.
The Jaguars hope he can put that behind him and make the most of a fresh start — but mostly they want him to help a defense which is 31st in the league in run defense.