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Marcell Dareus holds grudge vs. Bills GM, coach for trading him

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Jaguars nose tackle Marcell Dareus says he'll have no problem sharing some hugs and laughs with his old Buffalo Bills teammates before Sunday's wild-card playoff game.

But when it comes to the people who shipped Dareus to the Jaguars in what amounted to a salary dump at the trade deadline in October, Dareus isn't interested in exchanging pleasantries.

"The GM [Brandon Beane], if he walks to me, or the head coach [Sean McDermott], and tries to shake my hand, [I'll] act like I'm going to shake their hand and then be like, get out of here," Dareus told me Friday, miming a couple "too slow" moves near his locker.

"Head coach, GM -- f--- out of here. I ain't no f---boy. After all this, you're going to try to come shake my hand? Come on now. Don't try me. Don't do me like that. If you're going to do me like that, that's crazy."

Jaguars coach Doug Marrone told me that "I don't a have a bitterness" about his own ending in Buffalo and said he's happy for the Bills, who ended their lengthy playoff drought three years after Marrone opted out of his contract.

For Dareus, who clearly was having some fun with the situation this week, it's evident some feelings are still a little raw months after his unexpected reunion with Marrone.

The No. 3 overall pick in the 2011 draft, Dareus never matched the productivity of his early career after former Bills GM Doug Whaley signed him to a six-year, $95.1 million contract extension in 2015. He served two suspensions for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. He was sent home from a preseason game in August for violating a team rule. In September, while Dareus was battling an ankle injury, McDermott told me he wasn’t always seeing the urgency he wanted from Dareus, who was shipped away for just a sixth-round draft pick about a month later.

Asked if Sunday's playoff matchup with his old team made him reflect on how it all ended in Buffalo, Dareus said: "I don't feel like it shows anyone anything about me. It just shows me about what decisions they already make with their organization, who they let make decisions with the organization.

"You want to get rid of one of the best players in the league -- easily -- because you want a sixth-round pick? Or you just want to get me out that bad? All right. The things y'all portrayed in the news and media -- really? It was nothing like that, but OK. We all know this is a business. They've got control of what they want to put out and what they don't. It is what it is. I'm not here to fight it."

In Jacksonville, teammate Calais Campbell said, Dareus has "been on point. Very, very consistent. Brings a lot of energy, brings a lot of confidence, a lot of swagger." Dareus has contributed on one of the NFL's top defenses, recording 20 tackles (18 solo) and a sack in nine games (one start). He was heard often this week laughing and joking around with teammates and reporters.

Buffalo's silver lining: Due to Jacksonville's success (with the help of Dareus), that sixth-round pick became a fifth when the Jaguars made the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Bills' run defense has regressed, allowing 148.7 rushing yards in 10 games since the Dareus trade compared to 84.5 in six games before.

"He's going to be really fired up" to play the Bills, Campbell said. "My goal will be to contain it. He can use it the right way. Sometimes, it can make you too wild."

Dareus told me he doesn't think he has anything to prove against his old team, but acknowledged this is a big week for him against LeSean McCoy and a Bills team that needs to run the ball to have a shot.

"Are we for real?" Dareus said. "Are we going to move past and go see Pittsburgh? Or are we going to choke and let the Bills continue to make their run and give them momentum in the playoffs? That's the real situation that we're facing."

For multiple reasons, Dareus is hoping it's the former.

Follow Tom Pelissero on Twitter @TomPelissero.

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