The Buffalo Bills made a wise investment on Thursday afternoon, as they locked up stud defensive tackle Marcell Dareus before he could leave as a free agent. The two sides were said to be at a standstill and were not planning on allowing negotiations leaking into the 2015 NFL season, while Dareus contested all along he wanted to remain in Buffalo. The deal finally got done early on Thursday, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the extension was worth a whopping $108 million over six years.

It’s a big signing for a player who will miss the first game of the year due to suspension, but long-term, the Bills couldn’t be spending their money much better. Dareus is without a doubt one of the top run-stuffers in the game, and his versatility has allowed him to also turn into a menacing pass-rusher. Keeping Dareus long-term shores up quite the deadly front line for the Bills, who also boast Jerry Hughes and Mario Williams on the outside of their defensive line.

Still in His Prime

Just 25 years old, the Bills are getting one of the top interior defensive linemen before he truly enters his prime. With new head coach Rex Ryan running the show, it’s extremely possible Dareus performs even better over the remainder of his contract. That’s hard to believe given that Dareus has upped his sack numbers over the last three years (5.5, 7 and 9 a year ago), but the talent is certainly there to back up the hefty contract.

No Faux Line

Dareus and the rest of the Bills aren’t just about numbers in garbage time, either. This is easily a top-five line in the entire league and that was never made more evident than in 2014, when the Bills finished the year jut outside of the top 10 against the run (11th), 3rd against the pass and 4th overall. With Dareus entrenched in the front line for years to come, the Bills could continue to be a top five defense.

Playoffs, Finally?

Defense tends to win championships or at least get teams close to one, so you’d think Dareus and co. would eventually get the Bills back into the playoffs. They were on the cusp of making it in 2014 and barely missed out, so we very well could see it happen in 2015. Even if it doesn’t, their time is coming soon, making them an increasingly stronger bet to put together a winning season.

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